VICTORIA — The federal government and the Province of British Columbia recently announced two new agreements totalling over $844 million over the next two years in investment in job and skills training.
B.C. will receive approximately $211 million through the Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) and $633 million through the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), which provide the province with $2.5 billion over six years and are an increase of over $250 million over the period compared to previous funding levels.
The WDA is intended for training and services delivery such as Blade Runners, a program for at-risk youth to obtain and sustain full-time employment, Indigenous Persons Trades Training to help Indigenous people explore trade-specific skills and Bridges for Women in Victoria, which helps women impacted by violence or abuse through education and employment training.
Funding under the LMDA will go to projects like 84 WorkBC Centres throughout the province to aid the unemployed and underemployed with job search resources, skills training and work experience as well as customized assisted support for the disabled to rejoin the workforce.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program offers skills training for those re-entering the workforce and the Single Parent Employment Initiative helps single parents on income or disability assistance to rejoin the workforce.
“Our government is investing in people so they can get skills and retraining employers are looking for, with a specific focus on underrepresented and vulnerable groups,” said B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Melanie Mark in a statement.
“The Workforce Development Agreement also means we can better respond to the skills training needs of communities and employers with more flexible and timely programming.”
In total, from 2017-18 to 2022-23, the federal government will invest approximately $20 billion in WDAs and LMDAs with provinces and territories.