Helping solve B.C.'s skills shortage
On March 20, the Surrey Board of Trade (SBOT) and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote economic cooperation, international marketing opportunities, to work together on technology education, career issues and skills shortages.
“Last month the Surrey Board of Trade was the only Board of Trade/Chamber of Commerce in the Lower Mainland to have received funding from the Employer Innovation Fund managed by the Immigrant Employment Council of BC and the province of BC. This was funding for a 12-month program that we’ve established designed to help businesses address skills shortage/immigrant integration. Skills shortage – as our Canadian Chamber of Commerce also indicates – is the number-one economic impediment to Canada – and we need to focus now at the grassroots level help our businesses find the skills they need to make their product," said Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade.
ASTTBC formed in 1958. ASTTBC is made up of technologists, technicians and technical specialists that achieve professional recognition through this association. Its members work in applied science technology fields such as architecture, bio-medical engineering, building, civil, electrical, electronics, environmental, fire protection, house inspection, information, mechanical, onsite wastewater and other related disciplines tied to the built and natural environment. These technology professionals design, construct, inspect, test, maintain and manage most of the world around us including buildings, computers, electrical power, all manner of equipment, roads, environment, and water and wastewater systems. They work in private enterprise, for consulting engineering and technology companies, in all levels of government, and as private consultants.
“A critical challenge facing the B.C. economy is the increasing shortage of skilled workers including technologists, technicians and technical specialists. ASTTBC is taking pre-emptive action on addressing a technology skills gap in partnership with educators, business and industry associations, government. We are proud to have solidified this partnership with the Surrey Board of Trade for this reason”, said John Leech, CEO of ASTTBC.