BC Skills For Jobs Blueprint


The BC Skills for Jobs curriculum was developed by the Liberal Government as a framework to re-engineer education in British Columbia.  The focus of this plan is to develop a K-12 trades based curriculum that significantly shifts our public education system with the sole purpose of preparing all children to be able to respond the employer needs in the workforce.  The intent is to re-engineer K-12 programs to provide more opportunity for trades training, early exposure to trades and faster movement through secondary school to get into the job market.  The main focus currently is to initially utilize $40 million to train children in LNG related jobs prepare students throughout British Columbia, working to fill the estimated 1 million jobs that will come available in the industry.  The final goal is to redistribute 25% of the education budget to focus directly on training all children to participate in the LNG sector.  The focus, as outlined in the proposal is to move from educating children to training them, leaving behind other areas of what has traditionally been considered a normal child’s public school educational experience, with a focus on the whole child.

In 2011 a comprehensive study conducted in communities throughout British Columbia focused on what British Columbians saw as the role and purpose of public education.  The result was the BC Charter For Public Education, a document that still stands as the last comprehensive dialogue about public education in the province.

This was the promise that British Columbians made in regards to public education: As a community we promise to prepare learners for a socially responsible life in a free and democratic society, to participate in a world which each generation will shape and build.  We promise a public education system which provides learners with knowledge and wisdom, protects and nurtures their natural joy of learning, encourages them to become persons of character, strength and integrity, infuses them with hope and with spirit, and guides hem to resolute and thoughtful action. 

The changes that are being proposed by the BC Liberal Government, in the BC Skills for Jobs Blueprint, are in direct opposition to what British Columbians have indicated they see the role and function of public education being.  The promise has been broken and children throughout the province will suffer as a result.  We have an obligation to keep this community promise that we have made to our children.

This chart provides statements from the Charter, how the Blueprint sees changes and an analysis of how the changes being proposed significantly alter the role and function that has been agreed to in reference to public education.  This chart serves as an introduction to changes that are being proposed and the effect they will have on the system.

BC Charter for Public Education BC Skills for Jobs Blueprint Analysis
To recognize that the learner is at the center of public education.  To offer learners a broad base-based education which includes aesthetic, artistic, cultural, emotional, social, intellectual, academic, physical and vocational development in order that they can find and follow their hopes, dreams and passions  “We are re-engineering education and training so that BC students and workers have the skills to be first in line for jobs in a growing economy.” Sole focus of Blueprint is equipping students to realize career opportunities most in demand – to “put British Colombians in line for job openings.”Education focusing on the estimated 1 million jobs in LNG sector”Our goal is to make sure that British Columbians have a seamless plan that takes them from elementary to high school through post-secondary education and right into the workforce.”


Expanding dual credits in our schools to get students trained more quickly

We are encouraging students to choose training that leads to high-demand jobs and to consider relocating to areas of the province where work and training are readily available.

“The blueprint reflects our shared goals” (shared does not include members of the educational community – business, industry and government)


  • The new curriculum is focused mainly on training, more specifically on the vocational aspect of schooling rather than offering all areas.
  • Loss of focus on visual and performing arts, liberal arts and physical development
  • The possibility exists that students will be locked into training for a specific skill early in their educational career.   This could result in streaming children at an early age with an increased absence of an academic focus.  This would likely lead to a two tiered system where parents who want their children to get into university, pay for their children to go to private school, leaving public schools focussed on trades training
  • With this focus there will be less time to explore passions or a comprehensive education
  • There are shared goals but not with educators – with business, industry and government – a focused training program to fit a specific job set upon graduation
physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual integrity of each individual, recognizes and acknowledges differences and prevents discrimination in all of its forms To provide a safe and respectful environment for life-long learning which celebrates diversity, embraces the   “giving employers and industry a stronger role and voice in shaping and evaluating ours skills and training funding and program delivery”Change in focus of K-12 Public EducationK-12 – get a head start to hands on learning in the workforce and trainingFocus on Ace It program as a foundation to public education – reform Grade 10 – 12 high school graduationReview K – 9 curriculum – providing relevant hands on training for students

Education resources will be decided on “rely [ing] on the best data and labour market projections. The most up-to-date labour market information will be used to guide government decision-making and to determine spending priorities.”


No new money for this program – reallocation of education dollars to the new program “Government currently funds education and training in excess of $7.5 billion per year. Re-engineering training and education doesn’t mean spending more, it means targeting more of the substantial resources already available to meet labour market priorities”


  • For some students throughout the province this is an excellent opportunity to focus on skills training through an apprenticeship program.  Many schools have programs like this currently.  The concern comes when all students are focused in training programs from an early age developed by industry and business not educators.  This does not take into account child diversity, individualism or acknowledge differences
  • Education will become data driven based on labour market not children’s needs
  • Finding for other important areas will be limited with limited existing funds to be funneled to training
To respect, encourage and foster the learner’s role as a full participant, together with others is the educational community, in developing their own goals, learning activities and curricula  “Blueprint …. the commitment to deliver the skilled workforce BC’s growing LNG and other sectors need, and create the opportunity for long term and well-paying jobs that strengthen our families and communities”“Primary goal for the education system will be to prepare these people for these jobs”Refocus of investment in schools – job programs / labour market programs for youth / programs for students with disabilities / aboriginal / infrastructure – with a focus on this redevelopment / invest in Canada job grants / community employment partnership programSpending actions will be data driven – based on industry requirementsFocus of significant amount of education dollars education dollars will be placed to develop workers for resource based jobs “These jobs openings will be created by major new opportunities, including expanding liquefied natural gas (LNG) development

Relocation subsidies will help students relocate to another community to participate in ACE-IT programs.

Funding for apprenticeship Trades Ambassadors – people who visit schools and communities to promote trades careers and provide students with first-hand information

Re-engineering operating grants to support high-demand occupations

  • The focus in this program is not on the needs of the students or the educational needs – rather on the needs of industry and business
  • Funding dictates what students are to be interested in – not allowing children to develop their own goals, learning activities and curricula – date will provide what the students will learn and be involved in.
To nurture and value critical thinking skills so that learners are equipped to be reflective and analytical global citizens  Hire trades people as teachers with a focus on the skills necessary for success in the LNG sectorQualify more trainers to teach skills / trades foundation courses and apprenticeship training in high schoolsSuggest making it faster and easier for qualified tradespeople to earn teaching certificatesStronger partnership with industry and connecting youth with workplaceFocus for educators, counselors, students and families will be on information on industry labour market trends

The Ministry of Education will work with all school districts to increase their skills training and recruitment capacity, starting with on-the-ground support for northern districts in the LNG corridor.

Applied Skills Curriculum in Grades K-9 will be the focus

We need to provide more and better information about skilled trades and improve school district capacity to support and deliver relevant and exciting programs to students.

  • Focus on hiring specific trades for training rather that subject specialists and those steeped in good pedagogy
  • Breadth of understanding about human development will be lessened with an increase in trade specific trainers.


  • Critical thinking skills will be      de-emphasized with a focus on knowledge / skill based training
  • Staffing and resources will be focused on the industry labour market trends rather than developing the whole person – focus on developing a worker rather than a citizen
To create an environment in which each learner can reach their greatest potential, each learning style is affirmed, and the achievements of each learner are measured and assessed accordingly  Stronger partnership with industry and connecting youth with workplaceFocus for educators, counselors, students and families will be on information on industry labour market trendsThese objectives are:A head-start to hands-on learning in our schools.A shift in education and training to better match with jobs in demand.

A stronger partnership with industry and labour to deliver training and apprenticeships.

The Ministry of Education will work with all school districts to increase their skills training and recruitment capacity, starting with on-the-ground support for northern districts in the LNG corridor.

Applied Skills Curriculum in Grades K-9 should excite and prepare students




  •  An environment in which each learner can reach their greatest potential will be limited in public school with a focus on the development of workers for specific jobs most notably in LNG
  • The narrow focus of the elementary and secondary school curriculum will force many students to private schools where the focus is much broader – not all students will be engaged with a focus on industry training and work within the resource based industries
  • Labour will become plentiful – allowing companies to lower wages for workers – and therefore increasing the demand on even base entry level / minimum wage positions