To fill B.C.’s labour gap, the government has launched an advertising campaign to try to make certain careers more attractive to students.
The province projects a labour shortage of approximately one million jobs by 2020 in technical trades, health care and applied sciences.
Fifty-two specified careers in high demand for next 10 years
Ads on buses saying “hipster is not a real job” direct to the website careertrek.bc.ca which lists 52 careers in high demand over the next decade. Targeted jobs include carpenter, paramedic, sawmill operator, physiotherapist, midwife, geologist, counsellor and bus driver. Salaries range from $33,000 to $125,000.
“Trade school used to be for dummies, but it’s not anymore,” said Jeff Polkinghorne, recruiter with the employment agency Manpower.
Manpower flooded with staff requests
Polkinghorne is flooded with staffing requests for electricians, machinists and manufacturing engineers who can make up to $80 per hour.
“Health care will be huge because of aging boomers,” he continued, adding managers of care homes can make up to $250,000.
Polkinghorne advises students to research job trends before deciding on a program, if they want a high-paying job. “You really have to specialize,” he said.
Entry level jobs are available for non-trade persons
For students who don’t go into trades, there are still plenty of entry level jobs in administration and customer service that pay $35,000 to $45,000, said Polkinghorne, who’s seen a 40 per cent overall hiring increase recently.
B.C. job shortage
Yet despite this growth, Nancy Vye, manager of corporate communications at TD Bank Group, said in an email the Canadian economy churned out 52,100 new jobs in September, about a tenth of which were created in B.C.
Scott McLean, head of Langara economics department, said job projections are cased on assumptions, which can be wrong. McLean pointed to baby boomers who are working past age 65.
“Freedom 55 is not the reality for lots of people,” he said. “All those people staying in their jobs, it’s not freeing up those jobs.”
Reported by Jana Minor