Bridging the Knowledge Gap in your Small Business

Canadian entrepreneurs and small business owners are finding it hard to fill open positions in their companies with suitable employees. There seems to be a gap between employees and relevant job training. In fact, this is an issue felt across Canada and, according to the Conference Board of Canada, it’s costing the country billions.

It’s estimated that British Columbia is currently losing as much as a whopping $4.7 billion in economic activity, and $616 million in provincial tax revenues annually, due to a shortage in education and skills in the workforce. Because of this, several programs have been created to help address the knowledge gap, some focusing on training existing employees, and some on finding qualified candidates from outside companies.

Read on to discover three programs in BC that can help you access financial incentives for employee training and hiring.

BC JobConnect

BC JobConnect is a customized online tool designed to connect job-ready immigrant newcomers to BC employers. Candidates register a free profile on the site, uploading information on their education, work experience and job interests, as well as available language assessment scores. As an employer, you can also register for free, finding candidates of interest based on flexible, multi-parameter searches, with ongoing support available from IEC-BC staff.

“BC JobConnect is not your traditional job board,” says Patrick MacKenzie, IEC-BC CEO.

“It really puts employers in the driver seat, letting them find candidates with the skills and the training that they need. It also helps ensure that the immigrant talent pool in BC can fully contribute to the success of BC businesses and to our success as a province.”

How to Register

To register as a small business owner, simply visit the BC JobConnect site and select the stream you wish to register under.

YMCA Post-Secondary Youth Internship Program

Delivered in conjunction with the Government of Canada’s Career Focus Program, the YMCA Post-Secondary Youth Internship offers Greater Vancouver-based employers a wage subsidy as an incentive to hire recent graduates with limited experience in their field of study.

Employers receive a subsidy of $8 per hour, 35 hours per week, for 16 weeks ($4,480 in total), and are free to select suitable recent graduates, or be referred to potential candidates who have registered with the YMCA.

Interns Must Be:

  • 19 to 30 years of age (at time of selection)
  • A post-secondary graduate, or student looking to start a practicum
  • A Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident, or person on whom refugee status has been confirmed
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Not in receipt of EI benefits, or eligible to receive EI
  • Available to work full-time (35 hrs/week)
  • Have limited to no experience in their field of interest

How to Register

Space in this program is limited. Contact or 604-375-7493 to register your interest as an employer.