Budget ’09

Details of the proposed federal budget  were announced yesterday and all those who seek labour market information should have been paying attention.

You can see all of the details here but I want to focus on a couple of areas that will be of interest if you work in education, construction or transportation.

$1.5 billion dollars worth of new funding was committed to worker training and retraining. A large chunk of this funding will flow indirectly to private and public schools who will be needing to hire new teaching and support staff.

And of course I couldn’t comment on this budget without bringing up the “I word” as the budget proposes $12 billion in new infrastructure spending over two years. I’ve selected a few highlights to list below.

  • $2 billion to repair, retrofit and expand facilities at post-secondary institutions.
  • 4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that will provide funding to renew infrastructure
  •  $1 billion over five years for the Green Infrastructure Fund to support projects such as sustainable energy.
  • $500 million over two years to build and renew community recreation facilities across Canada.
  • $500 million over the next two years for infrastructure projects in small communities.

Items of note

I want to draw your attention to a couple of items you may find interesting.

  • For those of you looking to register for Camosun College courses that start in September we have been informed that you can begin registering on July 7th. Contact Camosun for more information.
  • The next VIATeC VIAfest is scheduled for July 31st. See their website for more info on this networking opportunity.

From a distance

I know lots of you would like to take courses that are specific to your field in order to learn new skills or keep your current skills up to date. I also know that finding appropriate courses can be a difficult task. Because of this I wanted to point out that BCIT offers many courses by distance education that may be of interest to you.

Here are some examples. (Please use the contact info provided by BCIT to enquire about course availablity, start dates and prerequisites.)

Area Manager Roads Civil AMRC 2015 – Communications

BLDC 1500 – Building Code: Part 9 (SFD)

BLDT 2061 – Computer Applications in Construction

BLDT 1051 – Technical Writing and Communications

CMGT 7330 – Finance for Construction Managers

COMP 2653 – Computer Systems Technology Foundations 1

FMGT 1100 – Accounting 1

FMGT 7221 – Manufacturing Cost Accounting

GIST 7130 – GIS Computing and the Internet

MKTG 2203 – Mktg Communications Essentials

OAGP 1001 – Oil & Gas Industry Overview

TSYH 2103 – Reporting Technical Information

TSYH 3450 – Estimating Part 1: Quantity Take-Off

TSYH 3453 – Estimating Part 2: Costing

This is just a small sample of the courses available through a distance option. Please consult the full list for more.


Teaching the teachers

chalk.jpgTeaching in BC is one of those regulated professions that requires membership in a governing body. In this case the BC College of Teachers is responsible for reviewing applications from foreign-trained teachers.

This article examines the issues and describes a Simon Fraser University professional qualification program which helps immigrant teachers to make the transition to BC classrooms. 

Is a foreign credential a barrier to employment ?

Sadly for some employers it appears to be. An article in the Montreal Gazette touches on this issue.

The foreign credential issue, to be sure, is one part of the problem. Employers have trouble assigning value to a degree obtained from a foreign academic program with which they are not familiar.

Forty-four per cent of companies in a Conference Board of Canada survey said this was a potential barrier in their hiring practices.

Employers have a difficulty in assigning value to a foreign credential because often they may not have the time or ability to do the required research. Immigrants may miss out on opportunities simply because the employer does not understand that in many cases a foreign diploma is equivalent to a Canadian one.
To help our clients with this issue Career Solutions use a service that specializes in the evaluation of a foreign credentials. If required, we have diplomas and transcripts translated and then send them to the International Credential Evaluation Service to be evaluated.

A foreign credential is not a barrier to employment but it can be seen as one. Having credentials evaluated is an important step in finding suitable employment.

Immigrants arrive better educated

data.jpgCanada held a census in 2006 and StatsCanada has been releasing the data bit by bit for the last year. Reading census data is an important part of understanding what is happening in the Canadian economy and labour market.

The latest release deals with employment and demographic information. You can read some of the highlights here. Today’s Times-Colonist ran a related article that describes how 51% of the 349,800 people who immigrated to this country between 2001 and 2006 held a university degree. Just 20% of the Canadian-born population hold similar education status.

As the Canadian economy continues its move towards knowledge-based employment, holding a post-secondary degree becomes more important and will provide an advantage when looking for work.