COLLABORATION FOR LOCAL ECONOMIC
THE ECONOMIC CONTEXT
The present difficulties in the British Columbia economy affect a wide cross-section of the labour force. Youth unemployment and underemployment are, however, of particular concern. Young people comprise 23 percent of the population 15 years and over, but constitute 40 percent of the unemployed in the labour force. Some face the prospect of not being able to acquire the work experience necessary for vocational advancement. The arrival of each new group of young people who have left school adds pressure to those still in search of work.
In this economic climate there are several trends and conditions which merit attention. One is the reality that the majority of jobs are being created by medium and small businesses. Another is the importance of diversification of the provincial economy, and recognition that much of this will be a locally-based phenomenon. Further, local economic development has particular scope in producing goods and services that either fill niches in the local economy or provide viable substitutes for products produced elsewhere. In this manner new wealth is created locally rather than establishing new businesses to compete for existing markets and existing profits. Lastly, the nature of an economy in transition is one that requires and stimulates entrepreneurial initiative.
Entrepreneurial initiatives that are underway currently in communities throughout the province include some that are forging new forms of collaboration and co-operation among business, educational, social and governmental interests.
|Previous Page||Contents||Next Page|