John Winter, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce (Retired):

“For over a decade, the BC Chamber of Commerce has advocated for increased attention from all stakeholders on our investment of time and money into improving the job related skills of British Columbians. 

A shortage of skilled and experienced workers in BC’s workplace was not hard to predict in 2002 when we first presented our thoughts in Closing the Skills Gap. Simple analysis of demographic information logically led to the conclusion that we would have too few skilled and knowledgeable people in the Province in the coming two decades to breach the gap and cover off the mass exodus of older workers. Actions on the part of a multi-stakeholder group, led by government and the corporate sector, would be required to entice under-represented groups in our society into the workplace and to make them productive.

Literary skills of many British Columbians were found wanting and for us to count on them as a partial answer to the problem, investment in training and upgrading was needed to enable the stakeholders to move forward, to improve access of our workforce and potential workforce to the essential skills many employers required, targeting the improvement of essential skills in the workplace.

The challenge has been answered…and it’s for this reason, amongst others, that the BC Chamber of Commerce is both pleased and able to fully endorse the actions prescribed by Decoda in their Workforce Literacy and Essential Skills (WLES) plan.”