New Funding Program for B.C. Technology-Sector Employees

In a sector that is marked by rapidly changing equipment and systems, technology employees need to keep up-to-date with the latest information, skills and tools to stay competitive.
Premier Christy Clark along with the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that a new stream of funding under the Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG) has been created to help employees in the technology sector get the training they need to succeed in the future.
A total of $4.5 million under the CJG over the next five years will be provided to employers and organizations in the technology sector to help their current and future workers upgrade their skills. In the 2015-16 fiscal year, $500,000 will be available for eligible employers and organizations for employee training that begins before April 1, 2016. In each of the following four years, $1 million will be made available for eligible employers.
“The technology sector is a key driver of our province’s economy, creating thousands of well-paying jobs for British Columbians,” said Premier Christy Clark. “With an increasing number of technology companies choosing to call B.C. home, this funding will go a long way to help current and future employees upgrade their skills and ensure that B.C. has the talent needed for this growing sector.”
“In our changing economy, Canadians need more opportunities to improve their skills so that they can succeed in today’s job market,” said the Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “This funding is an example of the kind of support needed to upgrade skills and boost the Canadian economy.”
“A critical component to the success of the technology industry is ensuring that we have the talent available for start-ups to develop as well as for large companies to thrive,”said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “The new technology stream under the Canada-B.C. Job Grant is an example of our commitment to provide targeted training for British Columbians so that they have the skills needed for the in-demand jobs of the future.”
“ZE PowerGroup really appreciates the Canada-BC Job Grant initiative. The program has reshaped our perspective on training and totally ignited what was already a progressive learning environment at ZE,” said Aiman El-Ramly, chief strategy officer, ZE PowerGroup Inc., a previous recipient of CJG funding in B.C. “With the help of the program, we invested about a half million dollars towards the development of our employees. More than 150 employees had the opportunity to improve their skills and abilities by taking training courses such as communication, leadership, management, software and programming.  The Canada-BC Job Grant has given our employees the opportunity to learn new skills, refine their talents, and develop professional abilities that will not only benefit ZE but their career for years to come. We are hard at work preparing for our 2016 Training Plan.”
B.C.’s technology sector is a priority sector identified in the BC Jobs Plan and a key driver of the province’s diverse, strong and growing economy, creating over 86,000 jobs and housing over 9,700 technology companies. To ensure British Columbians have the skills necessary for these in-demand jobs, B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint is re-engineering education and training toward a data-driven system so that programs are focused on training for jobs that will be in demand.
The CJG is a partnership between the federal and provincial governments as well as employers. Government provides two-thirds of the total training cost for an employee up to $10,000 per person, while the employer is responsible for the remaining one-third of the training cost.
The technology sector includes information and communications technology, clean tech, engineering, life sciences and biotech, and digital media. It is one of the key economic sectors identified in the BC Jobs Plan.
Additional CJG applications are being accepted this January and program details are now available at:
Quick Facts:

  • The technology sector directly employs more than 86,000 people and wages for those jobs are 60% higher than B.C.’s industrial average.
  • B.C.’s technology sector is growing faster than the overall economy. In 2013, it grew at a rate of 4.7%, higher than the 3.2% growth observed in the provincial economy.
  • In 2013, the technology sector added $13.8 billion to B.C.’s GDP.
  • B.C.’s over 9,700 technology companies combined generated $23.3 billion in revenue in 2013.
  • According to the British Columbia 2024 Labour Market Outlook, the technology and science occupational group is expected to have 70,000 job openings in B.C. in the next ten years.
  • The technology and science occupational group includes:
    • most of the natural and applied sciences occupations;
    • technical occupations in motion pictures and broadcasting;
    • telecommunications work; and
    • related management occupations.

Learn More:
For more information on: