Purpose of the Project

The premium and performance apparel sector in BC is growing at exponential rates. The main goal of the BC Apparel Sector Labour Market Partnership (SLMP), formed between industry and government, is to address the significant skills shortages faced by apparel companies in British Columbia. Complementary work, in parallel to the LMP, is also being done by industry players on other topics such as innovation, supply chain and global branding.


Apparel is estimated to be the fourth largest component of the province’s manufacturing sector after food and beverage processing, value-added wood and paper manufacturing. This is the result of some keystone global brands, along with a thriving cluster of medium and boutique brands for high-end fashion, technical performance wear, athliesure wear and footwear.

The sector is facing some barriers to further growth and industry players have come together to collaborate on finding solutions to common challenges.

Labour Market Partnerships have five phases and the Apparel project is currently in Phase 3 – Strategy Development.

More information on the current phase and past phases can be found below:

PHASE 3. STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING: The objectives of Phase 3 of the BC Apparel Sector Labour Market Partnership are:
  • Identify best practices and potential strategies to address workforce issues
  • Define and prioritize initiatives
  • Develop strategy
  • Establish success criteria for initiatives
  • Create project sustainability plan
TIMING: FROM: February 2017 TO: August 2017 WORKING GROUPS: Four working groups, one for each group of major themes identified in Phase 2, have been established to develop strategies to mitigate workforce challenges and address barriers to growth:
  • Group 1. The Role of Post-Secondary Training
  • Group 2. Resolving Industrial Sewing Capacity
  • Group 3. Immigration for Specialized Skills
  • Group 4. Improving Youth Engagement and Diversity
JOIN A GROUP: Please contact us at the information given below if you would like to participate in a working group.
PHASE 2. LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION: The objectives of Phase 2 of the BC Apparel Sector Labour Market Partnership were:
  • Identify workforce challenges impacting industry
  • Deepen understanding of workforce issues
  • Conduct research to establish facts
TIMING: FROM: February 2016 TO: September 2016 FINAL REPORT: apparel-p2-report Phase 2: Labour Market Information Research Report September 2016 File size – 16.5 MB Alternate Download Location: WorkBC
PHASE 1. SECTOR ENGAGEMENT: The objectives of Phase 1 of the BC Apparel Sector Labour Market Partnership were:
  • Identify stakeholders
  • Build awareness and create engagement in the project
  • Develop a project framework and governance structure
  • Develop project scope and terms of reference for the research phase
TIMING: FROM: September 2015 TO: December 2015 FINAL REPORT: apparel-p1-report Phase 1: Apparel Sector Engagement Report December 22, 2015 File size – 1 MB Alternate Download Location: WorkBC

Benefits for the Sector

Not counting those employed in retail positions, apparel businesses in British Columbia are reporting almost 9,000 anticipated vacancies by 2025. The LMP is an opportunity for apparel businesses to work together, with government support, to design and implement solutions to mitigate the skills shortages undermining the sector’s competitiveness.

To Learn More Please Contact

Marcus Ewert-Johns
President & CEO
T: +1 (604) 900-1980 x110
M: +1 (778) 875-4889

Bernice Banguis
Manager, Operations
T: +1 (604) 900-1980 x111
M: +1 (778) 846-3807