Talk to almost any small business owner, and you’re likely to hear about the challenges of hiring and keeping staff. Talk to those who have been out of work for a while, and you might hear concerns about returning to work or finding work at all.
To support both employers and job seekers from all walks of life at a time of great shifts in the labour market, WorkBC Vernon is sharing how they can help, and why it’s best to access resources sooner than later.
“We’ve seen so much change over the last year in terms of how COVID has affected hiring needs and employment opportunities, so we wanted to remind the community that this is what we do — we support people on their job search journey and we support businesses growing their teams — and we have some really helpful ways to do that in these times,” says Kim Lauritsen, employment services manager, WorkBC Employment Services in Vernon.
For job-seekers who have been out of work and hesitating to return to the workforce, for example, some may be experiencing heightened anxiety about being in a COVID-safe environment while others may want to be more thoughtful about taking a job that aligns with their interests and lifestyle. Others are professionals who have had their positions made redundant and are looking for work for the first time in years or even decades.
Whatever a jobseeker’s goals or stage of career, the WorkBC team in downtown Vernon has an extensive range of supports, from a resource centre with job postings and computers for updating resumes to workshops that enhance skills, opportunity and employment.
For those with greater needs, WorkBC also offers employment counselling, customized services and specialized services with job coaching and long-term support to help ensure a successful placement for both jobseeker and employer. Staff can also guide clients through pursuing an apprenticeship or upgrading or earning a certificate with additional supports that can include daily living costs, childcare costs and more.
“We’re here to walk alongside job seekers with compassion and care to help them find and keep work that’s a great fit,” Lauritsen said. “Everyone has different needs and goals right now, and we’re able to accommodate that to make succeeding all the more possible, but it’s important not to wait. Summer is a crucial time to secure a spot in some programs and to begin a job search journey that could take a while to determine goals, gain job skills and get job search support before applying.”
For employers looking to hire, WorkBC Vernon is reassuring businesses that there’s a talented pool of candidates accessing their services, and to be open to hiring someone being supported by WorkBC. Staff are also trying to spread the word about job posting services, hiring fairs and the wage subsidy program, which reimburses employers for 30 per cent or more of an eligible, full-time employee’s wages for up to 24 weeks.
“We know how important it is to help small businesses grow their teams right now, so the best thing to do is reach out to us and reach out early on so we can tap into opportunities for hiring right away,” said Lauritsen. “We are always in contact with candidates who have a lot to offer and it can save a lot of time to have us help make those connections.”
Those looking for work or looking to hire in the North Okanagan are encouraged to visit http://workbccentre-vernon.ca/ to get started.