Jaime Malcolm

Jaime Malcolm

Workshop offers insight into job opportunities in the trades

There’s no cost to attend the five-day course, which was organized through skills centre staff and funded by the Employment Program of BC.

Heavy equipment operators are the top trade in the region right now, so those looking for a career change into that job, or any other trade, have a choice opportunity coming up.

The timing is right, but space limited for the Trades Exploration Workshop scheduled Aug. 10-14, in the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre.

There’s no cost to attend the five-day course, which was organized through skills centre staff and funded by the Employment Program of BC.

“The workshop fits into what’s happening within employment in the province right now,” explained Employment Services Manager Marla Smiley.

“We certainly are provided a lot of information that skilled individuals, particularly in the trades, are going to be in extreme shortage over the next five to 10 years.

“We are taking a look at what we can do for our youth, so Jaime, (Jaime Malcolm, essential skills, wage subsidy and workshop facilitator) in particular, has looked at the labour market and put together this series of workshops.”

Participants will learn about apprenticeships, hear from a Teck speaker about the company’s hiring process, review resumes, cover letters and interviewing skills as well as certify in WHMIS, Occupational First Aid Level 1, and the Construction Safety Training System.

“This will give an idea of whether or not the trades are for them,” says Malcolm, mentioning apprenticeships have a financial edge over a university degree because the person is getting paid while training.

“More and more people are realizing this as an attractive option, where people in my generation were told you had to go to university for a good job. People are realizing that’s not true in today’s labour market,” she added.

“But the trades aren’t for everyone, so this is a good opportunity to come in and see if this is the right track for them before they get involved.”

Anyone between 16 and 30 years who is unemployed or working less than 20 hours per week qualifies, granted they aren’t currently enrolled in school full time or returning to school in September.

Seats were almost full on Monday, explained Malcolm, adding that another session will likely be scheduled this fall.

The goal is to have participants walking away with a sense of confidence when going into trades training or applying for a job within the trades, such as a general labourer at a construction site.

“We would like to give more of an idea about what’s expected of them in terms of being an employee and applying and interviewing for those types of jobs.”

Job seekers often go into an interview cold and wing it, says Malcolm.

“When they take this workshop they will get a foundation as to what types of questions to expect and know what to expect in general, in an interview. Taking the unknown out of those types of situations can make a real difference for people.

Malcolm also put together a tourism and hospitality workshop, which will be offered in the late fall before ski season.

According to the Industry Training Authority (ITA) heavy equipment operators are the top job in the region now, and over the next 10 years, labour demand is expected to grow faster than the labour supply in B.C.