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B.C.’s public colleges commited to collaboration

B.C.’s colleges are working together to face a looming skills gap. - Stock photo
B.C.’s colleges are working together to face a looming skills gap.
— image credit: Stock photo

Through a commitment to collaboration, B.C.’s colleges are taking a leadership role to respond to emerging requirements of B.C.’s labour market.

“A unified public college system that responds as one to the B.C. labour marke. - That is the bold vision we as a college system committed to at the Advance 2010+ conference held in Vancouver last month,” stated Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College and Chair of BC Colleges in December of last year.

“Our 11 member colleges have agreed to a culture of collaboration that will ultimately lead to the development and implementation of a framework for system-wide education planning by the end of 2011.”

Through their commitment to a culture of collaboration, B.C.’s colleges are taking a leadership role that will allow them to respond to the emerging and changing requirements of B.C.’s labour market. “This commitment to collaboration by our colleges will translate into bold actions,” said Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges. “Colleges have already begun collaborating on programs that will increase participation rates, ease transition between secondary, post-secondary and the workforce and make transfers between institutions seamless. These are the kinds of initiatives that will help us to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.”

British Columbia, like the rest of Canada, is facing a looming skills gap with the first baby-boomers turning sixty-five in 2011. This, coupled with the transition towards a more knowledge-based economy, means there will not be enough skilled workers to replace the vast numbers set to retire. As the primary provider of workers with advanced skills and education for employment in British Columbia, B.C.’s colleges are well positioned to play a key role in educating British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow. And research indicates that over 75 per cent of future jobs will require post-secondary education, so colleges must be ready to respond to the gap between labour force needs and the Province’s training capacity.

Responding as one, to emerging and changing requirements of the B.C. labour market, will allow B.C.’s colleges to focus on the important role they play in the regional economic and skills development of the Province during this time of significant change in British Columbia. Click here to read BC’s Colleges Commitment to Collaboration.

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