January 20, 2017, Vancouver – Premier Clark announced the development of job training tax credits for on-the-ground training specifically for BC’s timber harvesting contractors yesterday at the Truck Logger Association’s 74th Annual Convention and Trade Show.
“The average age of a tree faller is 57,” Clark told the audience. “You’ve got a 50 per cent retirement rate that you’re looking down the barrel at over the next five years.” With that in mind, Clark outlined her plan: Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, will work with the Minister of Finance and the TLA to put in place job training tax credits for on-the-ground training aimed at timber harvesting contractors in British Columbia.
“This idea for job training tax credits shows Premier Clark’s recognizes the unique challenges timber harvesting contractors face in training new employees and I thank her for that,” said David Elstone, TLA Executive Director. “You can’t send someone to school for logging. So much of the work has to be learned on the ground from people who’ve worked in the industry a long time. It’s really an apprenticetype situation.”
The announcement also ties back to contractor sustainability. “These tax credits will help pass on the unwritten and essential knowledge timber harvesting contractors close to retirement have learned over their multi-decade careers,” explained Elstone. “This will not only help contractors but the industry as a whole in ensuring the supply chain continues to deliver logs efficiently.”
“Hopefully, the tax credits will allow timber harvesting contractors to invest in training of new employees before we lose all the know-how,” said Elstone. “This work will support independent timber harvesting contractors who can’t afford the added cost of training new employees but know our older workforce can’t keep going forever.”
The TLA (Truck Loggers Association) represents 470 independent forest contractors and their suppliers operating on the coast of British Columbia. Our membership supports thousands of workers and, along with other independent contractors, accounts for close to 90% of the trees harvested on the coast. The TLA promotes a thriving, sustainable coastal forest industry in BC.
For more information: Brenda Martin, Director of Communications, The Truck Loggers Association