It is incredibly incongruous that just three days after the College of New Caledonia board made the agonizing decision to student intakes for the dental assistant and dental hygiene programs and suspend the Aboriginal Early Childhood Education on-line program that Victoria gives the college $330,496.
The money won’t help the dental program. Instead it is going to fund 64 trade seats to reduce wait times for students entering an “in-demand” trade profession.
Apparently dental hygienists and dental assistants aren’t “in demand.”
Then, on Wednesday, to rub things in, Victoria announced $72,000 to create 32 seats at College of New Caledonia so students can get hands-on experience in a variety of trades occupations that support the “diverse, strong and growing economy of B.C.”
Not only are dental hygienists and assistants not “in demand,” they’re not part of a diverse and growing economy.
Then to really rub things in for us dentally challenged folks, Victoria issued a press release Wednesday patting itself on the back for the one-year anniversary of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
“The Blueprint was launched a year ago to re-engineer education and training systems – from kindergarten through to post-secondary training and beyond,” boasts the press release.
Re-engineer things it did. While Victoria’s zeal to suggest liquefied natural gas will solve all our economic woes has waned, the zeal to train people to fill industrial jobs has not.
And that push seems to have come at the expense of job training in sectors other than skilled trades. Don’t get us wrong, we need workers in the skilled trades sector. But, it seems government doesn’t believe we need anything else because that’s where all the money is going.
Government continues to prattle on that B.C. expects one million job openings by 2022. They’ve been saying this for a number of years now, so one would expect that some of those jobs have been filled. But “one million jobs” rolls off the tongue more easily than 600,000 … or whatever the number actually is.
Victoria states than 78 per cent of jobs will require some form of post-secondary education, and 44 per cent of jobs will be in skilled trades and technical occupations and approximately 13 per cent of the one million projected job openings are for in-demand trade occupations in B.C.
However, given that government also states that a full two-thirds of those million jobs will be due to attrition … the aging baby-boomers heading off into retirement.
That would indicate the jobs crunch is going to hit across all sectors … not just skilled trades.
Won’t those million people filling those million new jobs need to get their teeth fixed?