BC Wood Specialties Group is excited to release BC Value-added Wood Product: Workforce Development Strategic Plan. Employers in British Columbia’s value-added wood (VAW) sector are experiencing a number of key workforce challenges that are impacting their ability to meet their business development goals. In 2018, BC Wood Specialities Group Association, a sector-led not-for-profit trade association, led a labour market information research project funded through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s Sector Labour Market Partnerships program. This research identified a number of workforce challenges facing employers in the VAW sector, including acute labour shortages, a lack of diversity in the sector, low levels of awareness about career paths and advancement opportunities in the sector, and a lack of effective and available training.

BC Wood would like to thank all those who contributed their time and expertise to this Value-added Wood Workforce Development Strategic Plan. This project would not have been possible without support from the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement, the Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program, and the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

We would like to thank the project Advisory Group members for their guidance and contributions to the development of this Strategic Plan. We would also like to thank all the employers, employees, training providers and other sector experts who contributed to this report through interviews.

Ultimately, this is the first step. I would like to see some pilot projects. Let’s try it in a few spots! We’ve been doing the same things year-in year-out, so how about we try something new in a small town with high unemployment […] once we see success in a pilot project, employers can then say “that’s something that works and is worth the investment”.

  • Grant McKinnon

In order to have a successful value-added industry that’s actually going to grow we need to give it the attention that it deserves. Training and education in the industry are one of the pillars! […] What I would like to see happen is more education from the younger age, get them excited about the industry, so we get more participation. Not just at a high school level, but also someone further on in their career who would like to get into the value-added industry.

  • Ken Kalesnikoff


Download BC Value-added Wood Products: Workforce Development Strategic Plan