Victoria/Fraser Valley – 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.
The B.C. Landscape & Nursery Association (BCLNA) is leading the B.C. Agriculture-Horticulture Sector Labour Market Partnership (LMP), with the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC), thanks to $43,500 in funding from the Province. In addition, BCLNA is also leading the B.C. Landscape-Horticulture LMP project with landscape employers, with $37,700 in financial support from government.
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 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.
Jeff Foley, board chair, BC Landscape & Nursery Association –
“We are pleased to receive this funding to find workers and identify the skills they need to find meaningful work. There are many job openings in the agricultural horticulture as well as landscape industries, with ample room for growth – and great potential for solid careers. BCLNA, the BC Agriculture Council, its partners and sectors, are grateful for the opportunity to start on this important work that will benefit the industry and the people of B.C.”
Stan Vander Waal, BC Agriculture Council –
“An engaged workforce with the appropriate skills is critical to the success of any business, but especially agriculture. From seed to sale, it takes a lot of people to run a successful farm. Investing in people is good for business and good for the community.”
- Based on the B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook, over 7,000 job openings are expected in the agricultural and landscape horticulture industries.
- B.C. flower growers generated over $298 million in farm cash receipts in 2015, nearly 9% above 2014, and almost 18% higher than the previous five-year average.
- B.C.’s floriculture industry was the second largest in Canada and the fifth largest agriculture sector in the province in terms of farm cash receipts in 2015.
- B.C. is home to Canada’s second largest nursery industry, valued at almost $193 million in farm cash receipts in 2015, an increase of 9% over 2014 and 7% above the previous five-year average.
- The nursery industry was B.C.’s sixth largest agriculture sector in terms of farm cash receipts in 2015.
- Sales of B.C. agrifood products topped $13 billion for the first time in 2015 as the momentum builds toward the B.C. government’s goal of growing the sector to a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.
- B.C.’s agrifood and seafood sector directly employs around 55,000 British Columbians.
- Each year, the government invests more than $7.5 billion in education and training.
- Over the next 10 years, to better align its annual investment to meet emerging labour market needs, B.C. plans to redirect $3 billion of its training investment to focus on skills and programs for in-demand jobs.
BC Landscape and Nursery Association: http://bclna.com/
BC Agriculture Council: https://www.bcac.bc.ca/
Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program: www.workbc.ca/sectorlabourmarketpartnerships
BC Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/strategic-growth-plan.pdf
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint.aspx
B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Statistics/Labour-Market.aspx