University presidents warn of impending job skills deficit

Council calling on B.C. government to better fund post-secondary education

Tyler Smith

A shift in supply and demand expected to hit B.C. in 2016 means employers are expected to have a difficult time finding well-educated people to fill positions.

This ominous jobs deficit forecast, put out by the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia this week, comes with a call to action from the presidents of six B.C. universities asking for better funding from the provincial government. They say that’s the only way a deficit will be avoided.

“It’s simple: we’re not educating enough people,” said Allan Cahoon, president of Royal Roads University.

“B.C. has historically made up for that deficit with in-migration from other provinces, but that’s in decline. We’re also going to see an increase in the number of people retiring, and there’s a shortage of talent coming out of our universities.”

In 2016, 5,900 jobs will go unfilled in B.C. due to a skills deficit, they say. By 2020, that number is expected to balloon to 18,800.

David Turpin, president of the University of Victoria, says the deficit will come in a variety of jobs spanning many sectors.

“It’s going to be all across the board. Some of the big ones are areas such as supervisors, nurse supervisors, registered nurses, teachers, auditors, managers in retail, all types of engineers,” he said.

The RUCBC is calling on the government to take three steps immediately to reverse the forecasted skills gap: secure space for 11,000 new students in universities, colleges and trades schools over the next four years; improve financial assistance programs (grants, scholarships loans); and commit to improve B.C.’s research and innovation potential.

“Moving up into election environment, it’s absolutely critical that this province be able to educate the young people so that they can succeed in the new economy,” Turpin said.

Advanced Education Minister John Yap did not return phone calls.

 

Just Posted

Art and fashion collide for a cause at the Union Club of Victoria

May 26 event benefits Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions and educational programs

Horse carriage supporters to rally outside city hall

Owner of carriage company plans rally in response to Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

Victoria woman competing for role as Maxim cover model

Winning model gets featured spread in magazine, cash price

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

‘Conservation financing’ could stop old-growth logging

Reader says with this type of financing province recognizes the benefit of forests

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Most Read