In Canada, the skills gap is a huge issue, just like it is in parts of the US. British Columbia’s 11 public colleges put together the following video to describe the skills mismatch facing Canada, and it included this pithy summary of the issue:
“What it boils down to is we have people without jobs and jobs without people because we don’t have enough people with the right skills to fill those jobs.”
Today, the BC college system is taking on this growing skills gap in British Columbia. As the video states, an estimated 450,000 new jobs will be created by 2020 and around 675,000 workers will retire from the workforce. If those projections become reality, BC will have over 1.1 million openings and not nearly enough workers to fill them. In many ways, this echoes what we’ve written previously regarding local training gaps as well as information gaps. In-demand skills vary from area to area and students are too often unaware of what those skills are.
Thankfully, the BC colleges are using data and awareness to confront these gaps head on. Between their 11 community colleges and over 60 campuses, they serve close to 200,000 students from many walks of life annually. They are using data to help provide the essential and advanced skills needed to narrow these gaps. Not only does this help the individuals involved, but, as we wrote about here, it has the potential make an incredible economic impact on the region.