More than 1 million new jobs are expected in BC over the next decade.
This is according to the province’s new Labour Market Outlook, which projects a skills gap looming in the job market’s future.
The total projected is 1,004,000 jobs, through 2031. 63-percent of those new jobs will be replacing retirees and others permanently leaving the workforce, and the other 37-percent are new jobs created by economic growth and pandemic recovery.
48-percent of those new jobs are expected to be filled by first time workers aged 29 and under and new immigrants will fill 34-percent. The 8-percent that shouldn’t be overlooked is the growing number of Canadians who will choose to call BC home – over their current province.
“[In 2021] over 70-thousand people have moved to British Columbia from other provinces,” says Kahlon. “This marks the largest net migration in 28 years. So, no doubt about it, BC is the place to be.”
The migration took some of the heat off of pandemic related worker shortages, with BC leading the charge in COVID recovery nationally. 2021 saw the addition of 100,000 jobs across the province, bringing the unemployment rate to 5.3-percent. Restoring pre-pandemic job rates.
As for the new jobs – eight out of every ten new jobs created are expected to require post-secondary education or training – with most jobs expected in the Healthcare, social assistance, and education industries.
Minister of Jobs, Ravi Kahlon says the report shows how important it will be to bridge the gap.
“It tells us that our competitive advantage is our people,” Kahlon says. “And it tells us that when we invest in people, when we nurture the skills and talents of British Columbians – we are building a high scale, high care economy that works for everyone.”
To invest in their people, the province is looking into upskilling or re-skilling workers to help BCers find their place in the changing economy. To that end, the province has acquired $2.7 billion in skills training funding to help tens of thousands of BCers gain employment skills.
The Labour Market Outlook’s release coincided with the province’s release of an app that works with their WorkBC platform. WorkBC gives information on employment and training opportunities, and access to career profiles.
BC’s Minister of Advanced Education, Anne Kang says the app and platform supports those looking for their first job, and those returning to the workforce or switching careers.
“Making a career move is a big decision, and there are a lot of factors to consider,” says Kang. “[The WorkBC platform] can help people find what the current wage rate is for certain jobs, what jobs are in demand, and where they are in demand. [Also] how easy it is to get a job in a particular field now, and how easy it will be in the future. And of course, close to my heart, people can find out exactly what education and skills training they need to start a new career or transition into a new one.”
The WorkBC app is available on Google Play and the App Store.