Supports for forestry workers and rural communities

Our new vision for B.C. forests includes help for those affected by old growth forest deferrals. The Province will provide coordinated and comprehensive supports for workers by looking at how we can improve existing programs and through the development of new programs. More details are coming soon and this website will provide updated information on the help available.

Current support programs

The Province is bringing together co-ordinated and comprehensive supports for workers, communities and First Nations to offset any economic impacts that may follow from new restrictions on harvesting old growth forests.

On December 16, the Province announced it is making nearly $19 million in new funding available for the remainder of 2021-22 to provide enhanced supports to eligible workers, contractors and communities as deferrals are implemented. Details about these supports will be coming soon.

Supports for Workers and Contractors

Forest Employment Program

Creates short-term employment to help forest contractors explore new work.

Learn more

Bridging to Retirement

Intake is now open for eligible full time forestry mill workers and employees of contractors 55 and older affected by old growth deferral decisions who could receive up to $75,000 to transition to retirement, helping to open up jobs for younger workers.

Learn more

Skills Training for Employment

Connects impacted workers with skills training and educational opportunities for new careers.

Learn more

Supports for Communities, Sectors, Employers and Organizations

Rural Business and Community Recovery Initiative

Through the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior, Island Coastal Economic Trust and Northern Development, recovery advisors were in place in 2021 to help create jobs, support rural businesses and communities, and support strategic decision making. Details on more programming coming soon.

Community Transition Rapid Response Teams

This team will provide on-the-ground economic development and community support service, provide in-community support and will coordinate with ministries and organizations to ensure supports are in place for individuals and communities.

Learn more

Skills Training Grants for Communities, Sectors and Employers

The Community Workforce Response Grant helps communities and sectors support in-demand skills training for secure and sustainable employment for British Columbians.

Learn more

The Employer Training Grant helps employers provide employees the skills they need to succeed in the labour market.

Learn more

In 2019, government rolled out programs to support forest workers, contractors and communities impacted by mill closures and shift reductions in the B.C. Interior

Developing new programs

The Province is also developing new programs that will support forestry workers and communities over the next three years, to be announced in the new year.

Areas of focus include developing:

Supports for industry innovation

in rural British Columbia through value-add forestry and other, made-in-BC manufacturing.

Supports for rural infrastructure and economic development

projects that create jobs and promote diversification and resilience.

Establishing an internal government office

to bridge and leverage cross-ministry connections to drive forward rural economic development and diversification.

Our Forests. Our Future.

We’re changing how we manage B.C. forests by taking better care of old growth forests, making communities and smaller businesses a priority, and working in partnership with First Nations.

Learn more