B.C. Jobs Plan working: minister

Shirley Bond offers government's take on effectiveness of provincial program

Re: Lessons of a lagging economy (Our View, Aug. 21)

Your editorial may have left readers with a mistaken impression of the success of the B.C. Jobs Plan and why students are pursuing post-secondary educational opportunities.

Since the B.C. Jobs Plan was released in September 2011, we’ve seen employment in B.C. grow from 2,270,300 to 2,309,000. That’s 38,700 more people working and supporting their families. B.C.’s youth unemployment rate in August 2011 was 16.2 per cent. This July it was 12.2 per cent.

Continuing fragile global economic growth is one of the challenges B.C. faces as we move forward with our jobs plan. Another challenge we’re currently facing is growing our skilled labour pool to meet the needs of the unprecedented private-sector growth we’re on the cusp of experiencing.

We anticipate job opportunities throughout B.C. in the years to come – but they’ll require some post-secondary experience. The students enrolling in colleges and universities this year are making a well-informed choice for their future.

The goal of our B.C. Jobs Plan is to increase opportunity and prosperity for all British Columbians. And our plan is working. The commitments and targets laid out in the plan are on track or have been met ahead of schedule, and B.C. continues to see new options for job seekers around the province.

Shirley Bond

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour