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British Columbia Forecasts One Million Job Openings in the Next Decade

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According to the recently published Labour Market Outlook report in British Columbia, the province aims to incorporate one million new jobs into its workforce by 2033.

This 10-year forecast outlines in-demand careers, skill training, education, and industries with potential employment opportunities. Of the projected job openings, 65% will be to fill positions left by retiring workers in British Columbia (BC). Approximately nine million Canadians will retire by 2030.

The remaining 35% (345,000) of jobs in BC will contribute to expanding the provincial workforce. The government of BC predicts an annual average employment growth rate of 1.2%. Resulting in a workforce of 3.1 million people by 2033.

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In addition, the report anticipates that 46% of new job seekers in the province will be immigrants, marking a 25% increase from the previous Labour Market Outlook report released five years ago. BC’s government expects 470,000 new immigrant workers, including both permanent and temporary residents, to arrive in the province over the next decade.

Higher-than-expected immigration levels and increased labor force participation for key age groups are cited as reasons why the number of job seekers is projected to align with the number of new job openings.

The report highlights that 75% of the anticipated job openings will require some form of post-secondary education or training.

British Columbia PNP

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) actively encourages candidates to apply for provincial nomination weekly (with some exceptions) to support the province’s workforce expansion.

Through the BCPNP, British Columbia can specifically select economic immigration candidates likely to integrate successfully into the provincial economy. This ability stems from the collaborative efforts of both federal and provincial governments in managing immigration responsibilities.

Reports such as the Labour Market Outlook guide the BC PNP in determining key attributes to prioritize when extending invitations. For instance, the province regularly conducts draws for candidates in tech occupations while inviting professionals like Early Childhood Educators, Assistants, and those in healthcare occupations throughout the 2023 draws. The program has also recently expanded its focus to include candidates in construction occupations.

Various pathways within the BC PNP enable candidates to seek the provincial nomination, enhancing their application strength. However, it differs from obtaining permanent resident status from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Skilled Workers, International Graduates, and Entry-Level and Semi-Skilled streams cater to skilled newcomers alongside entrepreneurial streams, a tech stream, and a dedicated Express Entry stream. Each program comes with unique eligibility criteria.

Professions and Education Levels

Accompanying the report, the province has provided a catalog of occupations offering the most significant opportunities for individuals seeking entry into British Columbia’s workforce. The list categorizes trades based on the required level of education.

High School Education and Training or Specific Occupations

  • Couriers and messengers
  • Letter carriers
  • Mail and parcel sorters and related occupations

Furthermore, to ensure residents have the necessary skills and training for success in these high-demand occupations, British Columbia is actively working to broaden access to training across various fields. The province is taking strides in implementing several new programs, including:

  • Establishing a new medical school at Simon Fraser University, incorporating 40 new undergraduate medical education seats and potentially 112 new residency seats at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine.
  • Creating over 1,700 additional spaces for early childhood educators (ECE) and awarding 6,500 bursaries to ECE students since 2018.
  • Allocating $271.3 million towards Vancouver Community College’s new Centre for Clean Energy and Automotive Innovation. This training facility is set to accommodate up to 1,400 students annually, offering new programs in clean-energy technology, light rail, and zero-emissions vehicle repair and technology.
  • Funding 602 new nursing seats at colleges and universities throughout BC, supplementing the province’s existing approximately 2,000 nursing seats.
  • Introducing approximately 6,000 new tech-relevant spaces since 2017.


  • Software engineers and designers
  • Nurses (registered and psychiatric)
  • Teachers for elementary school and kindergarten

Completion of College Diploma or Apprenticeship

  • Social and community service workers
  • Police officers (excluding commissioned)
  • Early childhood educators and assistants

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