BC’S STEP PROGRAM PAYS BACK GOVERNMENT FUNDING WITHIN 10 MONTHS, DELIVERS $8+ MILLION IN INCREMENTAL REVENUE
VICTORIA, BC, October 2, 2013 – A report published today by Mark Anielski of Anielski Management demonstrates that the British Columbia Construction Association’s (BCCA) Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) delivers both a positive quality-of-life impact for skilled workers and a timely return on taxpayer dollars.
Mark Anielski, author of The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth, is an international expert in the new field of the economics of well-being and happiness. Anielski conducted an independent assessment of the economic well-being impacts of BCCA programs currently operating in the province in order to help construction employers to source job-ready workers. The programs are demand-driven, providing customized assistance to BC employers, while supporting candidates who demonstrate a fit for the trades.
On the $7.55 million invested in STEP, Anielski calculated an economic return of $8.17 million in annual income tax benefits to government, and a reduction of Income Assistance payments of $1.11 million, for a total societal benefit of $9.28 million.
By Anielski’s calculations, that return on investment occurred over less than 10 months.
This is potentially good news for the construction sector, which is looking to find increased support for skilled trades training in the face of major skills shortages looming in BC.
While such calculations give us some assurance of the ‘economic value’ and return on dollars invested, personal testimonials of how the BCCA programs have impacted individuals, their families and their employer are powerful. Here are a few personal stories of how the BCCA Connector programs have had a positive impact on work and quality of life.
Meet Aaron: Apprentice Sheet Metal Worker
Meet Krysta: Electrical Apprentice and Mom
Other stories of BCCA well-being impacts
On October 2, Premier Christy Clark (British Columbia) and Premier David Alward (New Brunswick) hosted a national skills training roundtable to hear opinions on the newly proposed Canada Jobs Grant, which could put an end to successful provincial programs like STEP in favour of a new set of federal funding criteria.
BC’s construction employers hope that won’t happen. “The BCCA programs have been totally positive for us. STEP has been a huge benefit to our company” says Dean Baumeister, of Dalco Parts & Service in Fort St. John.
“By March 2014, STEP’s programs will have placed roughly 7,000 British Columbians into skilled trades jobs. Our team makes 6,000 points of contact each year with BC construction employers. With more than 50 staff in the field we are operating the most connected, effective HR program in the industry,” says Manley McLachlan, BCCA President. “We broke the mold to do it and we know it works, but this report reinforces our success story.”
The BuildForce Canada report Construction Looking Forward (Spring 2013) predicts a shortfall of 30,500 skilled workers in BC by 2021. This number does not include potential LNG sector development, which the BC government predicts will deliver $1 trillion in GDP benefits and 100,000 new jobs over the next 33 years.
The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) is an employer-based construction association. Together, the BCCA and its four regional associations (http://www.sica.bc.ca/, http://www.vrca.bc.ca/, http://www.vicabc.ca/, http://www.bccanorth.ca/) represent more than 2000 businesses active in the industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-family residential construction industry. Membership services include educational programs, employee benefits programs, technology tools for bid and project management (BidCentral), employment and recruitment programs (STEP, Job Match and FSWBC), and advocacy to ensure British Columbia’s construction sector remains strong. www.bccassn.com