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

What do we want the British Columbia economy and labour market to look like in 2035? What human capital will workers need to possess in twenty years, and what will the over 44,000 babies born in BC in 2015 need to possess twenty years later in 2035 in order to succeed and prosper, and to support a world-class BC economy and labour market?

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.

As part of its BC2035 initiative, the Business Council sponsored this report to determine if BC has an appropriately integrated human capital strategy to attract, retain, educate and develop the talent it will require to compete in the next twenty years and beyond.

In addition to reviewing the latest literature and data, this report is informed by hearing from approximately sixty representatives of BC's business, academic and government communities.  This included several interviews, a Business Council roundtable and a meeting with the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, and a meeting with the Province's Labour Market Priorities Board.  These insights and suggestions on human capital gaps and strategies were collected over the last six months of 2016.

Three key tenets of this report are:

  1. Human capital is a driver and not simply supportive of economic growth in BC;
  2. While the developmentof human capital is a critical determinant of economic success, policy-makers, employers and institutions must also pay attention to the acquisition, utilization and retention of such talent; and,
  3. Benchmarking, tracking/measuring and reporting on concrete public policy outputs and outcomes is critical to the desired impacts of human capital policies and programs.

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