February 11, 2019 | Category: News Releases

Vancouver, BC – The Western Transportation Advisory Council (WESTAC) is pleased to announce the start of the 6-month British Columbia Western Transportation Corridors Workforce Development Project. WESTAC is leading this project with funding from the British Columbia Sector Labour Market Partnership Program and with the encouragement and support of the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

WESTAC members have long identified skills shortages as an ongoing risk, including in the Compass Leaders Survey. WESTAC President and CEO Oksana Exell looks forward to working closely with government, business and labour to enhance the competitiveness of the transportation sector by addressing skilled labour shortages. She maintains that the industry must "get to work on creative and genuine strategies to attract and retain more youth, Indigenous people and women, as well as prepare for the impacts of technology and automation.”

In this first phase of the project, WESTAC is validating the issues related to human resources/labour markets that members have raised throughout the years. The project team is reviewing previous reports and labour market information about the marine, trucking, rail, logistics and construction sectors and noted critical human resources (HR) issues. A broad range of stakeholders including employers, labour unions, educators, Indigenous communities and workers will engage through interviews and roundtable discussions.

WESTAC will establish a Governance Committee for the project which will make recommendations on principal directions for future research during Phase 2. The ultimate goal is to work with industry, labour, educational institutions and governments to develop programs, pilots and training that allow the Western Transportation Corridors sector to have the right skilled workers in place to remain competitive and flourish.

Solving the looming skilled labour shortage is a shared priority identified following the Western Trade Corridors roundtable on October 11, 2018, between the Government of B.C. and industry. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Hon. Claire Trevena convened the session. Premier John Horgan, Minister Bruce Ralston, government staff, Indigenous leaders and partners joined.

About the Sector Labour Market Partnership (SLMP) Program

The SLMP Program provides funding to organizations within an economic sector, region, or population to develop projects that help respond to workforce challenges. The SLMP program is not designed to meet immediate, individual employer needs, but to support long term, strategic, and sustainable workforce solutions.

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