The Surrey Board of Trade Aug. 6 announced planning to assist local employers in navigating their response to COVID-19 workforce needs and to help workers connect to employment.
Through $402,105 Community and Employer Partnership provincial funding, the board is preparing a back-to-work strategies playbook that can be adaptable for other communities and tailored to specific industry sectors.
The playbook will help employers prepare for workforce-related impacts and opportunities resulting from the pandemic and help people who have lost their jobs to find re-employment, redeployment, retraining and sustainable employment opportunities.
"This is an unprecedented time for everyone, including employers," Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson said. "It's important that we provide tools and guidance to employers to connect with people who want to work, build flexible and efficient work environments and meet the challenges that COVID-19 has created. I expect this playbook to be a model that other communities can follow to help get people back to work."
The project aims to help employers create the capacity to manage and respond to workforce challenges and address other COVID-19 related issues.
The work will bring together educators, service providers, post-secondary institutions, employers and industry groups to work together on workforce priorities in a rapid-response structure to help with economic recovery.
"Employers need help to develop capacity to be agile while responding to ever-changing workforce and economic conditions. The Surrey Board of Trade is pleased to continue its support to the business community in Surrey,” board CEO Anita Huberman said.
The project started July 27, 2020, and will conclude July 23, 2021. Actions will include ongoing labour-market information to support employer and service provider decision-making and help to better connect people to government supports.