New Canadians Get Skills Training for Careers in Manufacturing

A partnership between Northwest Skills Institute & BC Alliance for Manufacturing


The Manufacturing Production Worker (MPW) Program Case Study

Manufacturing in British Columbia faces more than 55,000 job vacancies by 2025. The BC Alliance, the provinces largest manufacturing industry body, worked with the Government of British Columbia to support the settlement and employability of refugees and new Canadians. Manufacturing workers earn wages up to 22% more than the average. Their goal was to provide stable employment for individuals in a high-demand industry.

"The program successfully certified and placed 500 individuals in manufacturing jobs."


Manufacturing employers are in extreme need of skilled individuals to fill critical job vacancies. Unfortunately, manufacturing is a relatively unknown career option for many job seekers. Employers need skilled workers who can immediately make a positive contribution to the team.


The BC Alliance for Manufacturing partnered with the Northwest Skills Institute (NW Skills) to lead on the skills development component of the program. The partners worked with industry to determine the most valued skills a new worker could bring to have a successful career.

The Northwest Skills Institute designed a skills development certification that would bring to employers the highly-demand skills for entry level manufacturing workers so they could hit the ground running from Day 1.

In addition to learning critical manufacturing skills, participants also were trained in safety protocols; how to communicate with supervisors, peers and subordinates; and lean manufacturing techniques.


Employers generally believe that the habitual post-secondary education model is broken. They feel training programs are too long at 2-to-4 years and do not give enough real-world practical experience.

What the Northwest Skills Institute offered in the Manufacturing Production Workers Program was very focused training concentrating on critical job skills that were identified by employers as essential. Participants were also offered additional training opportunities to expose them to the diversity of manufacturing allowing them to make a better career choice.

"Employers loved that new workers arrived ready to work and brought enthusiasm to the task."

The training model was so successful that is it has been replicated by other local organizations such as MOSAIC, CME, ISSBC and ATTSBC.


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