B.C. refocuses education, skills training in plan to fill one million jobs

The Canadian Press
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Poets are still welcome in British Columbia’s plan to re-tool the education system from kindergarten to post-secondary institutions, but more welders would be nice, Education Minister Peter Fassbender said Tuesday.

The prospect of one million jobs in the energy sector by 2022, including openings for thousands of welders, pipefitters and heavy equipment operators to build the proposed liquefied natural gas industry and other resource projects, has the government looking to the education system to prepare a workforce.

Fassbender and three other Liberal government cabinet ministers — Jobs Minister Shirley Bond, Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk and Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad — unveiled B.C.’s Skills and Jobs Blueprint, outlining the government’s promise to give young people a seamless path from school to the workplace.

Virk called the changes generational, saying universities will soon be looking to train more engineers, doctors and nurses to meet current jobs markets, while Bond said the province will adopt a pragmatic approach to education that includes using current data to target programs that focus on jobs that are in demand.

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