The British Columbia government has committed more than $81,000 for two new labour market partnership projects with agriculture-horticulture and landscape-horticulture industries in the province, to help identify their labour needs.

MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale Stephanie Cadieux, on behalf of the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond, met with industry partners to hear more about these projects, as they toured the West Coast Gardens in Surrey.

The goal behind these projects is to bring together key associations, as well as employers in the respective industries, to identify unique labour market needs and factors that shape their workforce. BCLNA and BCAC have been working with stakeholders on both projects since October 2016. The projects are expected to be completed by March 2017.

The horticulture industry plays an important role in B.C.’s agrifood sector, which is one of the eight key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan. British Columbia has one of the most diverse agrifood industries in Canada, producing more than 200 agriculture commodities and 100 seafood species.

The projects announced today are funded through the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The program helps employers understand and respond to changing labour market demands, ensuring that training and education programs in B.C. are aligned with industry’s labour-market needs and priorities.

In November 2016, experts from around North America shared their knowledge and opinions about increasing food supply security during the BC Agrifood and Seafood Conference: Growing the Future Together in Kelowna.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour has said that “With nearly one million jobs expected in the province by 2025, we have been engaging with our BC Jobs Plan sectors to help ensure employers can meet the growing labour market demand. The horticulture industry is part of our diverse agrifoods sector and our partnerships with the B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association is an example of our government’s commitment to work with our sectors and industries to keep B.C.’s economy strong and growing.”

Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale has said that “Horticulture careers are very diverse. I am excited about the labour market partnership projects by the B.C. Landscape and Nursery Association, with support from their industry stakeholders and the B.C. government. Not only will these projects help employers in the horticulture industries get the skilled workforce they need to thrive, but it will also benefit British Columbians who are interested in horticulture careers in the future.”