VICTORIA – The Province is helping employees gain the essential skills they need to succeed while increasing productivity for employers through a $1.5-million investment in essential skills training.

As part of ‘Canada Starts Here: The B.C. Jobs Plan’, over 450 British Columbians will benefit from essential skills training through nine SkillsPlus training projects throughout the province.

SkillsPlus is a unique program that brings essential skills training to the workplace, building them into everyday employee training and work practices. Essential skills are identified as reading text, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, continuous learning, thinking skills and computer use.
Benefits of SkillsPlus have included improved customer service skills, increased confidence in ability to master new skills and improvements in computer literacy and understanding of written instructions.

Investment in these training projects is in addition to the approximately $4 million that has been allocated to SkillsPlus since the program’s inception in April 2009. Since this time, approximately 900 employees throughout the province have received essential skills training through SkillsPlus, spanning the following sectors: tourism and hospitality; retail, wholesale and grocery; health services; construction; social housing; security; manufacturing; forestry; and mining.

Eligible organizations include small-to-medium sized employers with 500 or fewer employees. SkillsPlus is funded through the Canada – British Columbia Labour Market Agreement, Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto said. “Essential skills are the foundation needed to meet our present and future labour market demands. Under the BC Jobs Plan, we’re working with our quality post-secondary institutions and training service agencies to increase learning and improve employee capacity.”

Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development said “Our Government’s top priority is job creation and economic growth. By enabling British Columbians to develop their essential skills, through projects such as SkillsPlus, we are helping to ensure that they can fully participate in the labour market and contribute to their communities.”