Surrey City Hall (File photo)

Province partners with Surrey to boost manufacturing sector

$126K study will look at Greater Vancouver, with a focus on Surrey

The City of Surrey and the provincial government are partnering in an effort to boost local manufacturing companies.

The B.C. government is funding a $126,000 study and the city has hired a research consultant to “identify and address current labour market challenges within the sector and identify strategies to create more jobs to support industry.”

The announcement was made at Surrey City Hall Monday afternoon.

Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson said the project will help the city “attract and retain skilled workers and it will give local manufacturing and innovation companies the opportunity to expand their operations and create good jobs in the region.”

According to a release, the new study will work with industry and local academic institutions to “close the technical skill shortage in the sector, as well as address emerging skills requirements as a result of rapid and disruptive technological developments associated with the digitalization of B.C.’s economy.”

Surrey will partner with SFU and KPU and is expected to be complete by April 2018.

“Transforming Surrey into a metropolitan centre means investing in ensuring our residents have the necessary skills to support the future of our city’s economic growth,” said Mayor Linda Hepner in a release. “With a third of our population under the age of 19, equipping our youth is of paramount importance. We welcome the Province’s support and are proud to partner with Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University to develop industry-relevant and leading-edge training programs for our expanding population.”

The announcement comes after a study jointly commissioned by Surrey, SFU and KPU found that the current size of the advanced manufacturing and innovation economy workforce in Surrey could grow by more than 130 per cent over the next 10 years.

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