The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is partnering with local municipalities and First Nations to undertake a regional labour market study to assess the labour market in the region to identify labour gaps and future job needs.

Chair Margo Wagner said they were able to access funding for this through the provincial and federal government.

“It really is timely with some of the mill closures and curtailments that we’ve got going on,” she said.

“Although the regional district doesn’t usually do things like this because we don’t have business licenses with the regional district and we don’t actively go after businesses to go in the regional district, it was an ideal opportunity for us to work together to really try to look at the labour market the way it is and to see what improvements we can do during this tough time with forestry to encourage other labour to come to the area.”

The CRD said there are several ways to participate in the project including:

  • A business survey for business owners that will gather input related to accessing labour, challenges in labour recruitment, labour impacts on future business decisions, training and skills needs and other relevant questions. The survey started in June and will continue through September.
  • A job seeker survey for people interested in new careers or that are currently not employed will be open from the end of September through November. This survey will provide job seekers with an opportunity to share their perspectives on employment opportunities and supports and services to assist them in securing employment. When the survey is launched, more information will be posted at cariboord.ca/labourstudy.
  • An education and training sector roundtable discussion that is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2019. Potential workshop participants will be contacted directly to ensure a broad representation of educational institutions and their appropriate faculty, staff and administration are invited.
  • Interviews with key stakeholders will also be conducted throughout the project.

 The project is expected to be completed with a final draft in December 2019.

 “Depending what the final draft says we’ll continue to work with the partners that we’ve already established a good working relationship with and we’ll move forward,” Wagner said.

 “I’m hoping that there will be some obvious things that we can do as a large Cariboo Regional District community as a whole to encourage businesses to come to the Cariboo or maybe if tourism seems to be the big thing that people think we can do more with then look at doing some of that. Whatever the survey would indicate that we need to do, I think the regional district as a whole and our municipal partners and first nation partners will be willing to look at because we need to get some businesses coming to the area for sure with the state that the forestry industry is currently in.”