Vancouver-The BC Federation of Labour is responding positively to today’s announcement that Victoria has substantially increased the role of working people in the BC government agency that coordinates and delivers training and apprenticeship programs for skilled trades in the province.
Melanie Mark, the NDP’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, made a number of appointments today to the board of the Industry Training Authority, including four labour representatives. Named to bring workers’ expertise to help solve BC’s skills training challenges are:
• Laird Cronk, International Representative from IBEW;
• Bob Davis, president of the faculty association at Kwantlen Polytechnic University;
• Lisa Langevin of IBEW 213; and
• Cindy Oliver, retired president of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators.
“The new labour representatives bring a wealth of experience to the table to work with employers and government,” says BCFED President Irene Lanzinger. “We face some significant challenges addressing the chronic shortages of skilled workers and correcting the failures of the previous government,” she says.
Lanzinger says the labour movement brings a lot to the table to help develop the substantive changes needed to solve the skills shortage. Unions in BC invest millions of dollars every year to deliver highly successful training programs. And at post-secondary institutes across the province, union members provide classroom training for thousands of apprentices in dozens of different trades.