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Province unveils post-secondary action plan to increase skills training

The B.C. government is launching a new action plan that will add thousands of tech seats and offer grants for in-demand programs.

British Columbians looking to get jobs in areas such as construction, tech, housing and clean energy will be able to apply for grants worth up to $3,500.

Provincial officials said there are over 400 eligible programs and they expect it will cover around 8,500 newly trained people over the next three years.

This will start in the upcoming September semester.

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“Our economy is growing and innovating quickly,” said Premier David Eby in a release.

“Work is transforming, and we have more job openings than skilled people. That’s why we are taking action to make sure people are ready to seize new opportunities and build a good life here in B.C., and businesses are able find the people who drive our economy forward and deliver the services we all rely on.”

Provincial officials said 3,000 tech seats will be added to existing programs and early childhood education spaces will be increased by 50 per cent to meet the demand for $10 a day childcare.

“I’m hearing from businesses, small and large, that finding skilled labour is one of their biggest challenges,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation in a release.

“That’s exactly what this initiative will address. It will ensure businesses have access to a skilled and diverse talent pool, now and into the future. Good jobs are good for workers and for businesses. By working together, we can build a better future for B.C.”

The province will also be streamlining the foreign credential recognition process so people new to B.C. can enter the workforce faster.

The action plan has a $80 million price tag.

Files from Josiah Spyker, My East Kootenay Now

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