Study Recommends Ways to Create More Human Capital in B.C. to Meet Job Demand

Businesses and HR Professionals warned creativity on several fronts needed now to solve emerging crisis

Vancouver, BC – BC is at a turning point when it comes to having enough well-trained employees – and what BC’s employers choose to do now will affect our ability to have sufficient human capital for the next generation.

We’re in a world where there’s no longer an endless pool of available labour, and a different set of skills are in demand. Demographics are shifting, new technological advancements come regularly, globalization is redefining market needs, and there is growing employee apprehension in the workplace.

 A white paper called Ahead of the Talent Curve: Ensuring BC’s Competitive Edge, published today by Canada’s Public Policy Forum in partnership with the Vancouver-based Human Resources Management Association (HRMA), finds the condition of our province’s human capital stock lacking, as BC continues to shift from a resource-based economy to a diversified, knowledge-based economy driven largely by small business.

The report is the result of a series of roundtables earlier this year around BC, with contributions from business leaders, HR professionals, academics and and government representatives. The full white paper is available for viewing on the HRMA site.  

HRMA President and CEO Anthony Ariganello notes there will be an estimated 1.1 million job openings in BC over the next decade – but only 650,000 students will emerge from our schools to fill them. That creates a challenge that HR specialists all over the province must face head on.

“Organizations must ensure that HR professionals are qualified to act in this important capacity,” he said. “HRMA believes that self-regulation can play a large role in increasing accountability and promoting excellence in the field at a time when HR professionals take on even more responsibility as the landscape continues to shift. Their influence is greater than ever when it comes to ensuring that we have a well-trained workforce, in numbers that will keep our economy growing as it changes.”

Priorities outlined in the white paper include increasing the skill level and labour market success of British Columbians, attracting workers and entrepreneurs and improving workplace productivity.

The paper sets out potential strategies including rebranding cities, especially outside of the Lower Mainland, to attract more labour; doing a better job of connecting immigrant and Aboriginal talent to the job market, and expanding training opportunities, especially for in-demand fields.