VICTORIA – A new labour market study will provide insights into British Columbia’s non-profit sector and help identify solutions to sector-wide challenges.

The 20-month study will explore how effectively the non-profit sector employs workers in B.C., examine the impacts of the pandemic, and consider how to address long-standing systemic challenges such as labour pressures, working conditions and compensation.

The Province is providing $290,000 through the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program to Vantage Point, a non-profit organization and registered charity that provides training and supports for non-profits. Vantage Point will work with a qualified labour-market research consultant and collaborate with key stakeholders for the study.

The study will focus on the experiences of entry- and mid-entry-level workers in organizations with fewer than 50 employees and operating budgets under $5 million, with the goal of supporting long-term, strategic and sustainable workforce solutions. It will also examine labour mobility between non-profits and sectors such as business and government and will improve understanding of the barriers faced by under-represented workers in the non-profit sector. Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits said- “The non-profit sector is a key economic sector that contributes $6.7 billion to the provincial economy, so it is critical to B.C.’s well-being and recovery. A labour market study like this one will help us understand the challenges a diverse range of non-profits are experiencing in our province.”

Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training  reiterated that, “Non-profits are critical because of the work their employees do to deliver essential services to British Columbians in need. I am thankful for the amazing work they do every day. We saw their impact, especially through the recent flooding and COVID-19 pandemic, and I thank them for their tireless dedication to their communities. Finding solutions to labour shortages, working conditions and compensation for the people who run non-profits is crucial to ensuring that B.C.’s non-profit sector can continue to support our communities.”

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Vantage Point partnered with the Vancouver Foundation, the Victoria Foundation and the City of Vancouver to produce a pair of reports on the pandemic’s impact on B.C.’s non-profits. Those studies found that non-profits in some sectors, such as arts and culture and sports and recreation, lost income while those in the health and social services sectors faced increased demand. The studies also concluded that more in-depth analysis of issues within the non-profit sector was needed.

Approximately 29,000 B.C. non-profit organizations employ approximately 86,000 people. The last major labour market study of the province’s non-profit sector was in 2014.