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Canada’s British Columbia face economic loss due to skilled labour shortage

A new report has highlighted the fact that the Canadian territory of British Columbia’s economy is likely to haemorrhage billions due to a lack of skilled labour.

Canada’S British Columbia Face Economic Loss Due To Skilled Labour Shortage

According to the Conference Board of Canada British Columbia will experience and estimated 514,000 shortage in skills within ten years translating into a potential economic loss of as much as CAD $7.9 billion in GDP annually.


The report state that this economic disaster will be as a direct result of the lack of a skilled labour force to replace an aging workforce in a changing economy.

In B.C. approximately 70 per cent of all jobs are held by people with post-secondary education, the report stated, and that number is expected to go up to 77 per cent by 2025.

Senior researcher Matthew McKean said B.C.'s post-secondary system faces a daunting task educating enough students to maintain this level of growth. At the current rate, he estimated a potential shortfall of 514,000 skilled workers in the province within the next 10 years.

McKean commented that skilled migrants would ease the situation but that more had to be done.

The same report also questions if a mismatch exists between the skills taught that are taught to Canadians in the secondary education system and the skills actually required – creating a constant need for skilled migrants to fill positions left vacant by Canadians.

The British Columbia local government acknowledges that more needs to be done in order to salvage the territory’s economy.
The BC technology sector employs around 92,700 people. This is more than forestry, mining and oil-and-gas in B.C. combined and it is here where the skill shortage is mostly felt.

Without enough skilled talent filling key job openings is becoming increasingly difficult agrees a statement from the technology association on the release of its 2016 British Columbia Technology Report Card.

“It is the burning issue for most tech companies in the province,” Bill Tam, president and CEO of the technology association, said.

“The thing that fuels growth in companies, especially in tech, is the human capital.”


The association has called on the B.C. government to invest $100-million in postsecondary institutions over the next three years to produce the required workers while at the same time making the immigration process easier and more accessible for skilled migrants who are able to fill the gaps.

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