The Immigrant Employment Council of BC announced February 21 that it has awarded funding to 11 organizations out of its $1.4 million Employer Innovation Fund (EIF).
The largest grants range up to $200,000 and were awarded to:
- British Columbia Trucking Association;
- Surrey Board of Trade;
- Prince George Chamber of Commerce;
- B.C. Construction Association; and
- Northern Lights College.
Grants up to $100,000 were awarded to:
- Tolko Industries;
- Kitimat Chamber of Commerce;
- Central Interior Logging Association;
- Go2 Tourism HR Society; and
- Initiatives Prince George.
A final grant worth up to $50,000 was awarded to the Campbell River and District Chamber of Commerce.
The EIF is funded by the federal and provincial governments. Projects that are launched with the grants are employer-led, employer-driven and address employer needs to attract, hire and retain skilled immigrants.
The Surrey Board of Trade plans to use its grant to pilot a 12-month employer-focused program that assists small and medium-sized businesses to integrate immigrants into their workforces.
The increasingly acute shortage of truck drivers was highlighted in a Conference Board of Canada report this week, which said that truck driving should be classed as a skilled profession in order to attract more immigrants to the industry.