“What surprised me in Langley was how fast things are changing,” Kahlon told the Langley Advance Times on Tuesday, March 15, remarking on the amount of growth he saw.
Kahlon had just come from two meetings; an agritech round table and a separate get-together, along with local MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman, at Global Mining, a Langley manufacturer of wheels and rims for giant-sized trucks and other products, and was scheduled to meet later in the day with the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.
It was day two of a road trip that started Monday with meetings in Vancouver, Surrey and Cloverdale.
“This is an opportunity for me to get out and visit people,” Kahlon explained.
He is looking for feedback on the plan, which promises to create opportunities for workers by investing in training opportunities in skilled trades, health care and life sciences sectors.
Kahlon said he is hearing that employment is up, but so are job vacancies.
“We have more jobs than we have people,” Kahlon summarized, pointing to government projections that the province will need to fill 1 million new job openings over the next 10 years.
The government is forecasting a particular need for people in the “care economy” of health workers, as well as tech workers and construction, Kahlon noted.
Asked about Langley businesses in Gloucester Industrial Estates, who complain they have difficulty hiring due of a lack to inadequate public transit, Kahlon suggested the pending arrival of SkyTrain could help.
“You’re going to need to build capacity [for transit when SkyTrain arrives],” Kahlon predicted.
“A lot of those businesses will have more access to workers.”
Kahlon’s next meetings were set for Chilliwack and the interior, and after that, his itinerary will take him through most of the province.
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