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NEWS RELEASE · 2nd June 2010
Ministry of Advanced Education
Students, job seekers and employers will benefit from a new made-in-B.C. tool that will help them choose the right career path and therefore, contributing to the Province's economic growth, announced Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development.

"B.C. is leading Canada's economic recovery by attracting investment and increasing jobs," said Stilwell. "With over a million jobs forecasted to be available by 2019 and the fact that the population of British Columbians over the age of 65 will increase three times faster than that of younger workers, the BC Labour Market Outlook provides the tools we need to anticipate the future of our labour market and help ensure opportunity and prosperity for British Columbians in the years to come."

The BC Labour Market Outlook is a web-based, interactive report that provides users with reliable labour market information, such as the projected number and type of job openings in a given area. The Outlook will help citizens, employers, educators and government to accurately forecast occupational demand and supply on a regional and provincial basis over a 10-year period from 2009 to 2019. Fourteen industries and 140 occupations are profiled in seven economic development regions of the province.

For example, a high school student can use the tool to see which careers are projected to be in demand and in which regions, and tailor their educational decisions to match. This can help ensure that the education choices made now will result in employment in the future.

"Labour market forecasting provides important information that is necessary for improving the efficiency of the labour market," said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. "The BC Labour Market Outlook will provide employers with labour market data we have not had before, and we are very pleased that this new tool has been developed."

The BC Labour Market Outlook is the first-ever B.C. supply and demand labour market forecasting tool specially designed to be interactive and provide users with clear data for strategizing and planning - whether they are employers considering ways to maximize their workforce, students exploring their educational options or government planning sector-specific budget expenditures. Through this tool, users can answer questions such as which occupations are expected to face the greatest shortages, or which are the highest growth industries.

"The BC Labour Market Outlook provides valuable labour market forecasting information that will benefit employers and all British Columbians," said Brian Bonney, director of provincial affairs B.C. for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. "Such information is very useful for business planning."

The BC Labour Market Outlook takes a multi faceted approach to the labour market of the future. It will allow students and their parents to make education choices informed by occupations in demand. In turn, post- secondary institutions will be able to tailor their courses and programs to suit demand based on labour forecasts for their region and the province. Business and industry will be able to see clearly where their resource needs will be the greatest and plan their recruiting activities appropriately. Based on feedback from stakeholders, government will be better able to pinpoint areas for funding activities and allocate funds accordingly.

"As we emerge from the global economic recession, it is more important than ever that all British Columbians have the information and opportunity to develop the skills they need to participate and succeed in the workforce," said the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. "Our government understands that the provinces and territories are best placed to address regional labour market needs. We are proud to support the development of a tool that will help government, employers and workers prepare for the jobs of the future."

The BC Labour Market Outlook was developed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and BC Stats, along with 15 ministries and agencies across government. In addition, 18 industry and professional organizations contributed their expertise to its development. Funded in large part through the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement, the BC Labour Market Scenario Model is available [HERE]