What are some of the labour market gaps in the Cariboo Chilcotin region? What jobs will be needed in the future? What will help job seekers secure employment in this region?
These are some of the questions that will be looked at this summer and fall, as the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is partnering with the municipalities and First Nations in the Cariboo Chilcotin to undertake a regional labour market study. The main goal of the study is to assess the labour market in the region and to identify labour gaps and future job needs, according to a press release from the CRD.
“Our region is in a time of transition. All of us involved in this project are committed to supporting a productive and valued workforce and helping ensure our region is economically competitive today and into the future. This study is one of the pieces in that puzzle,” CRD chair Margo Wagner said in the release.
There are two main goals of the labour market study, according to the CRD. One is to provide an assessment of current and forecasted labour market trends, opportunities and needs specific to the region. Secondly, the study will provide an evidence-based strategy to facilitate capacity building among the regional labour force and business sectors.
“One of the things we often hear from our local businesses is their struggle to find people for job vacancies,” said Wagner. “This labour market study will help all the local governments and First Nations governments in the Cariboo Chilcotin, along with our community partners like Community Futures and Work BC, understand those labour market gaps. The study will also give insight into which job sectors are projected to grow in the region and what Canadians think about the Cariboo, so we can adapt and prepare.”
There are several ways to participate in the project.
• A business survey for business owners started in June and will continue through September. This survey is gathering input related to accessing labour, challenges in labour recruitment, labour impacts on future business decisions, training and skills needs and other relevant questions. Business owners will be contacted directly by the project’s local representatives to complete the survey.
• A job seeker survey for people interested in new careers or who are currently not employed will be open from the end of September through November. This survey will provide job seekers with an opportunity to share their perspectives on employment opportunities and supports and services to assist them in securing employment. When the survey is launched, more information will be posted at cariboord.ca/labourstudy.
• An education and training sector roundtable discussion is scheduled for Oct. 21. Potential workshop participants will be contacted directly to ensure a broad representation of educational institutions and their appropriate faculty, staff and administration are invited.
• Interviews with key stakeholders will also be conducted throughout the project. Selected representatives will be invited to participate and contacted directly.
The labour market study is a partnership between the CRD, the municipalities of Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Wells, and member communities of Northern Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in and Southern Carrier/Dakelh First Nations. The project is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
Representatives from these communities and organizations sit on a steering committee for the project, and two local representatives have been hired for the North, Central and South Cariboo. The study is being researched and written by MDB Insight, a consulting firm that has worked extensively with communities, large and small, across Canada.
The project is expected to be completed with a final draft this December.
“Having a big-picture perspective on the current and future labour market is critical so that industries, businesses and individuals can take advantage of opportunities in the Cariboo region,” Shane Simpson, minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, said in the release. “Studies like this one are important in building a strong, stable economy that works for everyone.”