B.C.'s skills crunch: Labour market strategies for 2019

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
7:30 AM
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Schedule:Registration & Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
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Workforce Forum

Across the Greater Vancouver region and around British Columbia, businesses of all sizes are reporting capacity constraints primarily as a result of a fully utilized workforce.

Employers are regularly dealing with labour and skill shortages due to a variety of factors playing out in our economy.

With low unemployment and widespread growth across various occupations and sectors, there could soon be unprecedented pressure on our already tight labour market.

This pressure will be amplified by the many major projects on the horizon for our region and province, including:

  • LNG Canada
  • Site C
  • Roberts Bank Terminal 2
  • Trans Mountain Expansion
  • Broadway Millennium Line Extension
  • Rapid Transit into Surrey and Langley
  • Massey Tunnel Replacement

This forum will examine:

  • The near to medium-term projections for the regional and provincial workforce
  • Industry sectors and occupations facing acute pressures
  • The potential impacts of major infrastructure and construction projects
  • Solutions to avoid the workforce crunch


Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association


Session 1

Workforce Projections

This panel will look at the workforce projections and labour constraints facing Greater Vancouver and British Columbia. What does the data say and what can we expect?

  • Is a labour shortage real and where are we already feeling the crunch?
  • Will we have enough workers with the needed skills?
  • What can we do to ensure our workforce is prepared?
  • What are the implications of not getting it right?
Jay BueckertJennifer FignerAndrew RamloChris HollingPaul de Jong

Jay Bueckert, Regional Director, Fort McMurray, CLAC
Jennifer Figner, BCom, CPA, CA, Associate Vice President, Implementation & Integration, BCIT
Andrew Ramlo, Executive Director, Urban Futures Institute
Chris Holling, Director, Forecasting at BC Labour Market Information Office, BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Moderator: Paul de Jong, President, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

Session 2

Spotlight on Major Projects

Over the coming years, thousands of workers will be required to build major projects across British Columbia. Hear directly from companies as they detail their strategies and support they require for hiring, training and retraining the workforce needed to build projects.

  • What occupations are in demand, what shortages are anticipated?
  • What are the obstacles businesses are facing when recruiting workers?
  • What are the best practices that businesses are using to ensure they have the workforce required to get projects built?
Krista DrostTessa GillTracey MacKinnon

Krista Drost, Employee Relations Lead, Site C Clean Energy Project, BC Hydro
Tessa Gill, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Woodfibre LNG
Tracey MacKinnon, P.ENg, Workforce Development Manager, LNG Canada

Additional panellists to be announced

Session 3

Pathways Forward to Avoid the Crunch

Panellists will share best practices, success stories and tools that organizations can implement to address labour constraints.

  • What pathways are available to employers, educators and all levels of government to avoid the labour crunch?
  • Where can we find new sources of talent and how can we harness those opportunities?
  • What are the legal implications businesses need to be aware of in regards to their employment strategies?
Jillian FrankShelley GrayHeather MichaudThomas NyceFiona Famulak

Jillian Frank, Partner and Chief Talent Officer, Dentons
Shelley Gray, Interim CEO, ITABC
Heather Michaud, Outreach Officer, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Thomas (TJ) Nyce BBA MM&C, Indigenous Affairs Representative, Ledcor Constructors Inc.
Moderator Fiona Famulak, President, Vancouver Regional Construction Association

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