The B.C. Liberal government has accepted federal apprenticeship dollars while burying the news that they've cut funds for the agency which oversees apprenticeships.
Vancouver (Sept 17, 2009) - On September 16, the B.C. government issued a press release broadcasting a $15 million federal funding increase for apprenticeship support - including extra funds for tuition, EI recipients and living expenses for students enrolled in apprenticeship programs.
However, the government quietly posted a revised service plan on the agency's website a week earlier, showing a $5.898 million cut in provincial funding to the Industrial Training Authority (ITA) over the next three years. The new service plan also removes the authority's obligation to provide a "sufficient and timely supply of skilled labour," as well as "efficient and effective program development and delivery."
In addition to cutting funding and removing the obligation to provide services, the ITA service plan also scales back the authority's obligation to assess and report on student completion rates and the level of under-represented group participation in ITA programs - including women, aboriginals and visible minorities.
"This government was first elected, in part, on a public promise to be open, transparent and accessible," said Daryl Walker, British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) President. "Now they are removing basic reporting mechanisms that allow the public to compare their performance against ministry objectives."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE