The governments of Canada and British Columbia have signed agreements that will see Canada provide the province with more than $2.5 billion over six years to invest in B.C. workers.

National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan made the announcement Friday at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

Sajjan said these agreements will significantly increase the jobs and skills training available to people in British Columbia, including assessments, skills training, work placements, job search assistance, upgrading, certification and employment supports.

The agreements announced are the new Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA).

The WDA will help British Columbia deliver training and services, such as:

  • Bridges for Women located in Victoria whose goal is to help women impacted by violence or abuse break the cycle of abuse and trauma through education and employment training. Its online classroom allows for remote learning for clients outside of Victoria.
  • Blade Runners, a program that helps at risk youth obtain and sustain full-time employment with life skills and job readiness training, job placement and monitoring, and ongoing support.
  • Indigenous Persons Trades Training that assists Indigenous people explore and develop trades specific skills in urban areas and in their home communities.

Funding under the LMDA will allow British Columbia to help more people and more employers meet their needs, through:

  • 84 WorkBC Centres throughout the province that offer training and employment supports to people who are unemployed or underemployed. Supports include job search resources, employment planning, skills training, and work experience placements.
  • Customized assistive supports and employment training, offered through WorkBC Centres, that help people with disabilities re-enter the workforce.
  • The Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program that helps people get back into the workforce through projects that offer skills training and work experience.
  • The Single Parent Employment Initiative (SPEI) where single parents on income or disability assistance can get the supports they need to re-enter the workforce.

Read the Employment and Social Development Canada news release.