The province’s Future Ready Action Plan was been announced on May 9 by Premier David Eby, Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Minister Selina Robinson, and Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brenda Bailey.
The action plan is focused on five pillars:
- Making post-secondary education more affordable, accessible, and relevant;
- Helping people reskill to find in-demand jobs so more employers facing current and future skills shortages can find the people they need;
- Breaking down barriers so everyone can find a job where they can thrive;
- Addressing Indigenous Peoples’ workforce priorities; and,
- Ensuring people new to BC find a career in the field in which they are trained.
Highlights of new initiatives include:
- Adding 3,000 more tech-relevant post-secondary spaces in BC, in addition to the 2,900 spaces over the past six years. Tech is widely defined as including life sciences, and spaces cover a range of credentials, from certificates to degrees.
- Student loan maximums will double effective August 2023, providing up to $220 per week and up to $280 per week for students with children or other dependents. This is the first increase in about two decades.
- A student grant for short-term public post-secondary programs shorter than twelve weeks, such as micro-credentials will be created. Beginning September 2023, a grant of up to $3500 will be available for hundreds of eligible programs including training for cybersecurity, hospitality/tourism, life sciences, technology, animation/VFX, and video games.
- A new $30 million Workplace Innovation Fund will launch in the fall to support businesses in implementing innovative ways to meet current labour challenges. The launch will include information on how industry sectors and their business partners will be able to use these funds to innovate.
- The BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be expanded from nominating 7,000 people in 2022 to 8,000 in 2023, 9,000 in 2024, and 10,000 in 2025.
- Legislation to create more unified standards for foreign credential recognition is expected this fall.
- The Digital Skills Bootcamp program will expand to include new digital skills offerings like customer relationship management, logistics and supply management and digital recruitment. The programs are tailored to support participants from rural communities and persons facing barriers to employment or otherwise under-represented entrepreneurs.
- The Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator Program (CTTA) will be expanded to include more participants. CTTA has offered two free 15-week online programs – junior IT and junior data analyst programs – covering IT and data analytics fundamentals, including networking, security, data collection, data cleaning, and visualization.
Here is the full plan: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Future-Ready-May2023.pdf
Here is the full news release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023PSFS0023-000637
Here is the full Future Skills grant list: https://www.educationplannerbc.ca/plan/finance/future-skills-grant