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Career Development

We are committed to supporting our employees and we do this by proactively managing performance and creating a variety of learning opportunities.

Performance Management

Performance Management is the continuous process of setting objectives, assessing progress and providing ongoing coaching and feedback to ensure that employees are meeting their objectives and career goals. As part of this program, employees outline their objectives and development plans each year and then meet with their managers to obtain performance feedback and ideas for improvement, culminating in a final review.

Continuous Learning

Our Human Resources team manages several programs that support continuous learning and leadership development. In 2017, we had an average of 25 hours of training per employee and we offered 252 courses through the Corporate Learning and Development Program. This program is available to all employees and includes a mix of internal and external courses, aligned to desired learning outcomes.

We provide access to a number of online courses. This includes Harvard Manage Mentor, a learning and performance support resource that combines the latest in thinking and proven practices. We offer LifeSpeak on Demand, which includes modules on positive mental health in the workplace, diversity, stress management and more. And in 2017 we provided all employees with online training for Cyber Security and Privacy Awareness.

We use a learning management system, called myLearning, that tracks and reports on instructor and computer-based training while enabling employees to manage their own development plan. We also support Managing My Career, located on YVR’s intranet, which provides guidelines, a process map, a checklist and career success stories.

To help employees develop their full potential, we designed a Management and Leadership Development framework that addresses the needs of managers at all levels—from emerging leaders to executives. The framework uses a tier-based approach, with different learning methodologies including self-directed, experiential, assignment-based and formal education.

One aspect of this framework is a five-year certificate program with the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. Four managers completed the program in 2017. For those at our director level, we sponsor their participation in Rotman’s Executive Leadership Development Program and have 16 directors completing the program so far.

Succession Management

In 2017, we reviewed and expanded our Succession Management Program. This program identifies and develops employees with the potential to fill executive and director positions. In 2018, we will create detailed development plans, which will include activities such as formal training, cross-departmental rotations and secondments.

Other Education Opportunities

Our Human Resources team supports a number of formal education programs, including the Industry Training Authority Apprenticeship Program, external training for professional development and a long-term education program where we offer up to $20,000 of tuition reimbursement. In 2017, seven employees accessed this program. We also provide up to 20 scholarships each year, valued at $2,000 each, for our employees’ children.

YVR has an active paid co-op student program that provides an exciting and valuable environment for training and career exploration. In 2017, we hired 49 bright, young professionals into four to eight month co-op terms. These individuals brought fresh new ideas and perspectives to YVR. Over the years, a number of students who started through co-op programs have become permanent members of the team.

Skilled Trades

In order to maintain a diversified team, we encourage our skilled trades employees and supervisors to develop a second trade. In 2017, 74 per cent of our eligible maintenance trade groups were dual-ticketed or in the process of becoming dual-ticketed. We supported seven tradespersons who completed 600 hours of classroom training, 3,380 hours of practical training and 10,340 hours in total workplace hours in their respective programs.

Training Hours

In 2017, Vancouver Airport Authority employees invested 11,936 training hours, averaging 25 training hours per person. All full-time, part-time, term and casual employees are included in this count, for a total of 487 employees (189 women, 298 men) as of December 31, 2017. Casual employees are included in this count as some operate in high-risk positions and partake in a number of health and safety-related training courses. The calculation includes apprenticeship classroom training hours, but does not take into consideration students.

Total Training Hours Average Hours Per Person
Women (189) 5,070 27
Men (298) 6,866 23
Total 11,936 25

Unionized (354) and excluded (133) employees received an average of 22 hours and 32 hours of training, respectively, in 2017.

Employee Class Total Training Hours Average Hours Per Person
Excluded (132) 4,227 32
Unionized (347) 7,709 22

134 employees were considered in high-risk positions. On average, these employees received more than twice the hours of health and safety training as employees in low-risk positions.

Total Training Hours Average Hours Per Person
High Risk (134) 1,110 8
Low Risk (353) 1,152 3
Total 2,262 5


In 2017, we formed a new Innovation Steering Committee to ensure we properly identify key projects that solve YVR’s greatest challenges. This team identified a key innovation that we will unveil in the summer of 2018.

We continued to offer several programs with a focus on innovation. We partnered with the Sauder School of Business to offer a customized YVR Innovator course to employees for the second year in a row. We also continued to offer a two-hour program called Foursight, which looks at how employees bring innovative approaches through their own perspectives.

In addition, we surveyed 253 employees to find out how our innovation program was doing and learned that almost 90 per cent of employees see a demonstrated evidence of an innovative culture at YVR.


At YVR, we have a tradition of recognizing employees in meaningful and creative ways.

Our Stellar Awards reflect our core values and are the highest form of recognition YVR employees can receive. At our 2017 holiday party, we handed out three awards for safety, accountability and innovation to individuals and a teamwork award to a deserving team.

The Bravo Awards recognize those who have gone above and beyond their regular scope of duties. These awards range from thank-you cards to gift certificates. In 2017, we gave 164 Bravo Awards to exceptional employees.

The Long Service Awards celebrate the long-term commitment of employees who have worked for Vancouver Airport Authority for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years at an annual banquet with the Board of Directors and Executive Team. In 2017, 67 of these awards were presented.

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