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Vision 2013: Service jobs in demand, opportunity in all fields
If you like taking care of people you are in luck.
If your preference is trees, not so much.
That’s the verdict for Cowichan job seekers, according to Work BC.
The most in demand jobs in the area are within the sales and service sector, said Donna Desmet, the client services team lead at the Work BC employment services centre in Duncan.
“I would say where there’s the most demand, and the most hiring is within the sales and services sector. That’s where we’re seeing the most postings by far,” said Desmet. “These jobs are mostly retail sales persons, sales clerks, and some of them may be within the food and beverage industry.”
Jobs in the sales and services sector are usually entry level, and require little training, but there are a few exceptions, and some of the jobs may require specific certification.
“Sometimes there’s entry level certification required, but mostly what employers are looking for is the right fit for the position,” said Desmet. “They are definitely looking for customer service skills, and then from there, depending on the setting they may need to obtain other certifications such as Food Safe or Serving It Right.”
The majority of jobs in the sales and services sector begin at minimum wage, says Desmet. However, there can be the opportunity to earn tips.
At the other end of the spectrum in wage and opporutnity is the forest industry. However, opportunities still exist for those with the right qualifications, Desmet said.
“There’s certainly been a big decline overall within the forestry industry from several years ago, but I think it’s kind of reinventing itself, so there are opportunities within mills for certified trade workers, and out in forestry now there are programs trying to recruit young people into the industry,” she said.
“There’s still a need for employees. There are just less jobs available now.
“Western Forest Products has started a logging fundamentals course that they are running up-island,” said Desmet. “I think there are concerns that when the trade shortage hits us, that there’ll be competition between a lot of the resource industry’s workers.”
In any field, experience may be the hardest thing to gain that employers are looking for, but there are options available.
“Volunteer work is a great way to gain experience, and get involved in the community,” said Desmet.
“There’s several opportunities to volunteer through Volunteer Cowichan, they’re a great way to engage in the community. Workshops can also help you with your work search and communication skills for interviews.”
And the employment centre is there to help.
“If you are wondering what the trends are, and who is hiring, there’s a drop-in workshop on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. called Wait and See,” said Desmet. “One of the HR managers from Wal-Mart was here last week to talk about their need for cashiers.”
If you wish to attend a workshop, The Duncan Employment Services Centre is located at 301-80 Station Street, and its telephone number is 250-748-9880.