Workforce Development: BurnabyWorks

BurnabyWorks is a groundbreaking Burnaby Board of Trade initiative focused on addressing prevalent workforce challenges faced in Burnaby and the greater BC business community. By addressing workforce challenges at an ecosystem level, BurnabyWorks acts as a central workforce development hub that collaborates with stakeholders throughout the ecosystem to understand their needs in order to build demand-driven programs that bridge the gaps between employers and job seekers. These programs engage future job seekers with high demand skills and careers or build shorter-term employment pathways based on shared employer needs.

In short, Burnaby Works strives to be a comprehensive and collaborative hub for Burnaby’s workforce needs that benefits our community by serving the shared needs of many, rather than individual employers and job seekers.

Phase 1 Ongoing Programs

Career Futures
Career Futures is a collaboration with the Burnaby School District, industry associations, and local employers to provide exciting career exploration opportunities for K-12 students to discover their professional interests through presentations, site visits, skills-based activities, and work-integrated learning experiences. For students with identified career interests, it collaboratively develops and expands pathway programs for different professions.

Small Business Coalition
The Small Business Coalition takes a different and more active approach to supporting small businesses by forming a collective built upon shared workforce needs. Through regular engagement with the Coalition to assess shared challenges, BurnabyWorks provides information, events, or other resources directly in response to identified needs, alleviating the need for them to spend time and resources seeking solutions on their own. This is also a platform for small businesses to learn about how to successfully engage and recruit job seekers, particularly from underrepresented communities.

Student Services Network
The Student Services Network establishes a crucial bond between small businesses in Burnaby and the expertise of post-secondary students. By acting as a central hub and facilitator for internship, co-op, and practicum students, the Student Support Network provides access to student services that many small businesses otherwise would be unable to access. Rather than engage with a single small business for a full term, students take on shorter projects with several different businesses to cumulatively complete a term. As such, students gain a more diverse work integrated learning experience while small businesses gain access to specialized services across disciplines.

The ACCESS Program readies post-secondary students from Burnaby institutions to excel in their careers. Students participate in topical workshops, mentorship, networking opportunities, employer engagement, and local business case challenges – all aimed to provide opportunities for professional growth. The program’s content is shaped by employer and student feedback on what skills are needed to succeed in the modern workforce.