Sicamous and surrounding communities are ready to turn employment data into action to encourage local economic development after participating in a government-funded labour market study with Community Futures Shuswap.
The nine-month, $69,000 study assesses the region’s labour market and identifies key challenges and opportunities for increased economic development in Sicamous and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Area E. As part of the project, Community Futures conducted a survey and review of labour market statistics and case studies on rural economic development, as well as community consultations with business and community leaders.
“The study reveals the area is currently short on labour and highlights the importance of regional training and skills development opportunities, especially for youth,” said Community Futures Shuswap executive director Rob Marshall. “This will ensure local employers can access a skilled workforce and provide yearlong employment opportunities.”
“The Sicamous area is a hidden gem,” commented Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo. “This labour market study will help identify employment and career options, as well as training opportunities. I’m excited to see what the community’s input and participation will result in.”
A Labour Market Action Team will be created to implement key priorities, including developing an economic development plan for Sicamous and CSRD Area E by 2017. The action team will also work to address the impact of affordable housing, family services and transportation on the area’s labour market.
The area’s current top employers are in the manufacturing, accommodations and food services, and construction sectors. The labour market assessment also indicates a growing demand for workers in the health services sector.
Labour Market Partnerships are a component of the Employment Program of B.C.’s (EPBC’s) Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour market information and increase employability throughout the province. They were introduced with the EPBC in April 2012. Labour Market Partnerships help local employers, employee and employer associations, and communities develop ways to deal with worker shortages or changes in the job market so they can prepare for the future.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured as a component of the B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. The Blueprint helps align training and education with in-demand jobs and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market or who face unique challenges.
The study can be viewed at http://www.futureshuswap.com/community-building/sicamous-and-csrd-area-e-labour-market-assessment-and-planning-project/.