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Skills Training & Education

Human capital is one of the most comprehensive files on the Council’s agenda. Primary education, industry training, the university system, immigrant integration and other human-capital issues are all crucial to BC’s economic development. As BC’s economy becomes increasingly dominated by skill-demanding industries, governments and businesses have a growing responsibility to help enhance the talents of British Columbians.

Advanced Education in Canada: How We Compare

The 2017 edition of the OECD’s Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators was recently released, comparing the quality of educational outcomes across 35 OECD countries. The report suggests that while Canada performs well, there are still areas for improvement

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Finlayson & Peacock Op-Ed: How government can help build bigger businesses in B.C. (Business in Vancouver)

To build a more prosperous economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow. The business world is characterized by a high degree of “churn,” with many new entrants together with lots of exits and diverse patterns of expansion and contraction among the pool of surviving companies. Many new firms don’t have a long shelf life. About half close their doors within five years. Of those that hit the five-year mark, most never reach the 50-employee level.

But those that do grow swiftly tend to make disproportionate contributions to our economy. This is partly because as businesses expand, they become more productive – and therefore, on average, pay higher wages. In addition, as firms grow, they are more likely to export and to take advantage of the economies of scale that come from doing business beyond local markets.

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Finlayson & St.Laurent Op-Ed: Education as the Great Divide

Where do workers envision themselves five years from now? Who has the skills to succeed in the fast-changing job market? The answer—and the level of optimism—may very well depend on the amount and type of education attained.

How workers view their careers and whether they believe they can “make it” in a digital world whittles down to one main factor: education. A recent US survey reveals that education, not household income or geography, represents the “great divide” between w

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From Good to Great: The Benefits of Scaling Up BC Business

To build a more prosperous and innovative economy, new businesses have to be created and some existing firms must grow.

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BCBC STATEMENT on the Government of Canada's Fall Economic Update
Business Council of BC Urges Stronger Action to Tame the Federal Deficit and Improve Canada’s Competitiveness

The Business Council of British Columbia offered the following comments on today’s Economic and Fiscal Update presented in the House of Commons by Finance Minister William Morneau.

“We welcome news that the federal government’s budget deficit is shrinking more quickly than expected, mainly thanks to stronger economic growth so far in 2017,” stated Greg D’Avignon, the Business Council’s President and CEO.  “Having said that, with the Canadian economy operating close to capacity, we believe the government should be aiming to achieve a balanced operating budget sooner than they are currently projecting.”

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Human Capital Policy and Practice in British Columbia:
Growing the Province's Economy & Potential Through Talent

This report, prepared for the Business Council by Kerry Jothen, CEO of Human Capital Strategies, considers BC’s future – what its economic vision should be and what kind of human capital will be needed in the next two decades. It considers how public policy and other factors can support success and prosperity in this arena. This includes a high-level review of current relevant policies and programs – what needs to be changed, enhanced and expanded, and what new actions need to be considered.

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Designing 21st Century Skills: Government-Driven Solutions

Recommendations for government as we collectively retool our human capital strategies for the future.

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A Snapshot of BC’s Fastest Growing Industries

We look at the 30 BC industries that have grown most rapidly over the past five years, based on average annual growth in economic output (real GDP) between 2011 and 2016.

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Tech-tonic Shifts: Supporting the Growth of a BC Tech “Supercluster”

BC is home to a rapidly growing tech sector supported by global anchor firms that, combined, are expanding new digitally-based and mixed reality technologies and firms. Of interest, Vancouver was named in the July edition of Forbes as the number one-start up region in the world, beating out the likes of San Francisco, Berlin, London and Singapore.

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Preparing Canada's Workforce for the Next 150: Part One - Government Driven Solutions

In light of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year, there will be many conversations about innovative, exciting ideas to advance national and regional prosperity. During these discussions, it is important not to lose sight of the less exciting—but vital—work of tending to our policy frameworks so that British Columbians are well prepared to succeed amid shifting economic, technological and labour market realities.

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Evidence-Based Policy and Investments in Children

The social, emotional and academic skills of the population are central to the health and well-being of our citizens and our society. Economists refer to these skills as human capital and have shown that they are crucial for ensuring continued prosperity.

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BC Election Series: Post-Secondary Education and Innovation in the Party Platforms

Providing the next generation with opportunities to acquire the right skills contributes to stronger economic and productivity growth and should be a top-of-mind goal for incoming decision-makers. All three parties contesting the May 9 election have made promises regarding post-secondary education and innovation.

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We're Better Off When We're All Better Off

In honour of International Women’s Day, we’d like to highlight a few points that showcase women’s progress and the need to continue with policies that aim to grow talent.

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BC2035

BC2035 is about creating a shared vision of BC’s future and laying down a pathway to realize that vision. It is about initiating conversations, fostering greater collaboration and getting politicians, policy makers, First Nations leaders, and business leaders to think about, prepare for and act on the future.

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Peacock Op-Ed: Looking to B.C. Budget 2017 — Strengthening B.C.’s Competitive Position (Surrey Business News)

B.C.’s economy is in reasonably good shape and the province looks to be on track to lead the country in economic and job growth this year and likely next year as well. This relatively buoyant economic backdrop is boosting B.C. government revenues and providing the province with some fiscal room. The recently released First Quarterly Report shows the B.C .government with a $2 billion surplus in 2016-17, thanks mostly to upside revenue surprises from personal income taxes and the property transfer tax.

While all this is good news, the fact is that British Columbia’s competitiveness within North America has eroded over the past several years. The extent of the problem varies across sectors and industries. But companies operating on the land base, manufacturers, and industries that rely significantly on energy to run their operations face mounting difficulties stemming from complex First Nations claims, onerous permitting and environmental rules, and high and still rising tax-inclusive energy costs. Across the province, the forestry, mining, and oil and gas industries are at the forefront of these challenges. Closer to home, in Surrey the agriculture industry and local manufacturers (lumber mills, parts of food processing, industrial equipment, high-tech) are all also challenged by B.C.’s deteriorating competitive position.

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5 Points of Interest about BC’s Labour Market

The BC job market is very healthy and employment is growing at a robust pace. Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey shows that between September and October of this year BC gained another ~15,000 jobs, further underscoring the fact that BC stands out in the federation on most key labour market metrics.

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New Regional Effort Aims to Establish Cascadia Innovation Corridor

British Columbia and Washington leaders come together to strengthen collaboration, create cross-border opportunity

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Innovation for Jobs and Productivity:
Fostering High-Growth BC Businesses, Creating More High-Paying Jobs

How can British Columbia draw on its strengths to build a vibrant, diverse economy, one that produces rewarding employment opportunities and rising incomes for the people who work and do business here? Scholars and leading international organizations agree that the best route to sustained prosperity is by developing a highly productive economy.

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“I have a master’s degree...but I’m serving sushi.”

Despite hard work and best efforts, the majority of fresh-faced graduates experience a delayed entry into career-oriented jobs, find themselves underemployed—or both. Very rarely are young graduates told what they actually need to be prepared for in the contemporary job market.

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The Generational Erosion of Canada’s Skills Advantage

The youngest generation of Canadian workers is the most educated cohort to date—so why is it that older Canadians are carrying the highest literacy rates relative to international peers?

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