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News Release - Association of BC Forest Professionals

News Release - Association of BC Forest Professionals

Proportion

Proportion of Provinical GDP 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0% Recruitment Strategy for the B.C. Forest Sector Forestry and Logging Mining, Oil and Gas Extraction Health Care and Social Assistance (for comparison) Wood Product and Pulp and Paper Manufacturing 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Year Figure 1. Proportion of BC Provincial GDP for various selected industries (BC Stats 2007). 2.1 Competing in a shrinking labour market On a national scale, the recognized importance of the forest sector to the Canadian economy has recently led to an announcement by Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HSRDC) that a national forest sector council will be formed (Appendix I). HRSDC sector councils develop an industry profile to review research and development activity, the business environment, and the human resources profile of a particular sector. Two primary industry performance indicators used by HRSDC are the relative weight of the industry in the economy and the assessed growth of the industry. Year-over-year percent change 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% -5.0% -10.0% All Industries Forestry and Logging Forestry and Logging Trend Line 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 Figure 2. Comparison of year-over-year percent change (growth) for an 8-year period (BC Stats 2007). June 2007 Page 8 of 53 Year

Recruitment Strategy for the B.C. Forest Sector HRSDC performance indicators can be estimated for the BC forest sector using currently available provincial GDP information (Figures 1 and 2). Figure 1 confirms that the relative weight of the forest sector in the BC economy is significant. Figure 2 shows that despite a cyclical nature, forestry and logging has experienced an increasing trend (growth) in year-over-year percent change over the last eight years. This growth has matched and sometimes exceeded the provincial rate of all industries combined. Stumpage taxation from harvesting brings in approximately one billion dollars annually. This figure represents 31% of the natural resource revenue of the Province or 3% of total taxation revenue. Forestry, logging and related support industries provided approximately 21,700 jobs or 1% of all provincial employment in 2006 (BC Stats 2007). Although Figures 1 and 2 do not constitute a formal sector review, there is no indication that forest sector is on the verge of collapse or unable to sustain activity into the future. The forest sector in BC is not going to disappear. Its diverse range of businesses will continue to need an appropriate educated labour pool. Recent reports (CCFM 2004 and Smallwood 2005) have indicated that the demand for employees in the next five to ten years will substantially exceed the supply of forestry graduates from both degree and diploma-granting institutions. Recruitment activities should not be considered as a means to fill a specific employment capacity, but a necessary aspect of maintaining an educated labour pool that is specific to the BC forest sector. Persons (thousands) 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0 0 to 4 5 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 34 35 to 39 40 to 44 45 to 49 50 to 54 Age Class Figure 3. Age class distribution of the Canadian population (Stats Can 2007). The solid vertical lines indicate increments of ten years. Difficulties in finding labour for the forest sector will be compounded by the coming wave of retirements. Canada’s demographics have a clear “baby boomer” bulge of people between the ages of 40 and 60 years (Figure 3). A comparable population bulge to replace the number of people retiring over the next fifteen years is non-existent. This June 2007 Page 9 of 53 55 to 59 60 to 64 65 to 69 70 to 74 75 to 79 80 to 84 85 to 89 90 and older

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