Inaugural Conference of BC Colleges
BC’s public colleges meet to examine the future workforce requirements of BC.
October 27, 2010 Vancouver, BC | On November 1 and 2, BC’s eleven publicly funded colleges will come together for the first time to discuss the future workforce needs of British Columbia and the role BC’s colleges will play in addressing these needs at a conference entitled - Advance 2010+ Creating & powering the future. The conference will be the first step in the process of developing a system-wide education plan for the BC college system.
“The timing of this Advance 2010+ is critical,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College and Chair of BC Colleges. “The Province is facing a looming skills gap with an aging population and a transition to a more-knowledge based economy. We need to ensure that our colleges are ready to respond to the gap between labour force needs and the Province’s training capacity.”
In his recent study, “People without Jobs, Jobs without People” Rick Miner, PhD., (President Emeritus of Seneca College) warns that if aggressive strategies are not employed, Canada will not have the educated or skilled workforce necessary for the economic growth of the country. “The same can be said about British Columbia,” states Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges. “Without a bold and aggressive strategy to prepare the skilled workforce required to satisfy the Province’s future labour market needs, the Province’s economic growth and development with be severely hampered.”
The importance of colleges as engines of economic growth was highlighted in the recent Provincial cabinet shuffle with the inclusion of colleges in the new Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development. The Premier stated that this change adds “new momentum to our excellent college system to assist with regional job creation.” The Advance 2010+ conference will examine how colleges can best meet the labour force needs of the Province and mitigate the future skills gap.
Over the 2-day conference, college leadership will look ahead to determine areas of concentration for the short to mid-term future. Specifically participants will be asked to look at how the college system can best meet the mandate of preparing graduates with the advanced skills and education that BC’s employers need if they are to continue to compete successfully in the global market place. Advance 2010+ will continue the development of BC’s colleges as leaders in the education and training of British Columbia’s future and current workforce.
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BC Colleges is a consortium representing the Province’s 11 public colleges, serving almost 200,000 students annually with campuses in close to 70 communities throughout British Columbia. Our colleges offer a comprehensive range of programs from university studies and baccalaureate degrees to career, technical and trades education. All programs are designed to be accessible, affordable and responsive to the evolving needs of BC communities and industry.
Jim Reed, President of BC Colleges – 250-595-4866
Alix Cameron, Red CAB Communications – 604-839-2770
Cindy Ball, Red CAB Communications – 604-828-8050