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money. i think what's really important is that we're now looking more closely at value for money. We're taking a look at the services that they're providing and what their input costs are so that we can ensure that the pricing we are paying them covers their costs but also is providing good value for the taxpayers of British columbia.
b. Ralston (Chair): John, did you want to add anything?
J. Doyle: really, the question is directed at how the whole process has changed over a number of years, which we've reected in our report. as the member knows, i don't comment on current situations unless i've actually conducted the work. So i think i'll leave it with the ita to respond to that question.
having heard it, i will also consider whether we need to do any further work to follow up this particular re- port at some time in the future, although i must confess that it's not high on my list at the moment.
Chandra Herbert: i'll just do two questions.
ey're somewhat related. e rst one i think you've
basically answered already, but if there's any other thing you think needs to be added, that'd be great.
obviously, one of the concerns raised was that lack of consultation with stakeholders, that they weren't meaningfully involved. i understand now that's been ad- dressed for this report. i guess the question i have, really, is: that level of consultation on these issues that have been identied in the report — will that kind of consul- tation continue as trades training changes over the next number of years, whether it's from government, indus- try, what have you? So that's one.
e second one, and it's a pretty obvious one — and
i'm sure you'll say that yes, it is — is one of the key indica- tors for ensuring program standards compliance. You'd mentioned a couple…. Were the students, the apprenti- ces, happy with the training they got? is one of the key indicators also whether or not the employers are happy with the skills that people bring aer their apprentice- ships or their training?
K. Evans: ank you for both those questions. as malcolm showed you in his rst slide, the industry training system in British columbia is very complex and consists of quite a number of stakeholders. e answer to your question is that the industry training system in British columbia is not going to move forward or suc- ceed unless there is communication and collaboration between all of those partners.
 So enhancing our capacity to do that — again, i think, for the exercise we've gone through in implementing the auditor general's reports, we have honed our skills in that regard — has got to accelerate.
i know that organized labour, in particular, is a group that feels that it has not been suciently consulted by the ita in the past. i think they've been taking that position until fairly recently, and i understand their perspective.
ere was a time in the startup phase of the ita when
labour was focused on turning back the clock to a time of the previous system, and the discussion was simply not constructive. e reaction to the auditor general's report from organized labour was that the system was a big mistake and that the government needs to rebuild the system. our view at the ita was that that's a political discussion. Whenever we have, in the past, mixed pol- itics with labour relations and training, it hasn't been a very successful outcome.
however, in the spring…. i have to give the organized labour movement great credit because they signalled that they were now focused on and interested in the future and building a stronger future training system.
ey convened a multiparty summit in Victoria which
was highly successful. ita participated in that. We are now reciprocating with a similar summit in the month of february. all stakeholders will be involved in de- veloping that, including organized labour.
Since then, as well, we have formed an informal, over- chinese-food caucus with labour, training providers, industry, industry associations and itos to discuss how we can build a better training system.
i would like to say that whether there was insucient consultation at the beginning…. i concede that point. as i said, i can understand their perspective. i explained the reasons.
e ita is now providing more support for union- and
joint-based training providers than ever before. e ita has provided approximately $3 million in '09-10 to eight union and joint training board trainers to purchase train- ing seats for approximately 20 dierent programs. finally, two union organizations are receiving this year over $1.4 million in labour market agreement funding through the ita to deliver programming for women.
i think, to answer your question, that speaks to the fruits of the kind of consultation that we believe is abso- lutely essential for this system to work.
e second question is…. You were quite correct in
predicting that my answer would be yes. i guess the real question is: so what are we doing to measure employer satisfaction? We do have an annual employer satisfaction survey that we do, and it is currently indicating high lev- els of satisfaction as well as indicating to us some areas where there is some work to do in providing supports for employers, particularly small employers.
When 98 percent of the businesses in British columbia are small employers, what we are nding is that the trad- itional apprenticeship model does not t easily with small employers. We are developing, with the itos, some prototype models that we hope will increase the engagement and participation of small employers.