Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #44
08162018Thu
Last updateWed, 15 Aug 2018 3pm

Keeping young workers safe

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Dear Working Wise:

My 16-year-old-son just started working in the lumber yard at a local hardware store. He’s a typical teenage boy and so I’m a little worried about how safe he is at work. There are trucks and forklifts moving heavy loads all the time in there. Do you have any tips to help him stay safe? Signed, Worried

 

Dear Worried:

You are right to be concerned. Young workers, aged 15-24, are more likely to be injured at work than more experienced workers. The fact is that five young workers were killed and more than 8,500 were injured on the job last year (2009).

 

No job is worth losing a finger, an eye or a life. One thing you can do is ask your son questions that will give you a better idea if he’s safe at work. These questions might also get him thinking about safety at work:

- What tasks do you perform?

- Do you work with chemicals?

- Did you get any safety training?

- Do you lift and carry heavy objects?

- Does your supervisor work near you?

- Are you tired at work or tired at school?

- Do you have to climb or work at heights?

- Do you know you should report any injury that happens at work?

- Do you use protective equipment and were you trained to use it properly?

- Would you feel comfortable telling your supervisor about a safety concern?

- Does your supervisor notice and correct you when you’re not working safely?

- Do you know your rights and responsibilities for a safe and healthy workplace?

 

Worker Rights and Responsibilities:

- Right to know the hazards of your job and how to prevent injuries

- Right and responsibility to refuse unsafe work

- Responsibility to follow safety procedures, ask for training, and use personal protective equipment

- Responsibility to report safety hazards and injuries immediately to your supervisor

 

Employer Responsibilities

Employers must do everything reasonably possible to protect workers from injury or illness. The employer must ensure that workers have the training and equipment they need to protect themselves. Employers must also adhere to the minimum age requirements for working in Alberta.

 

Minimum Age Requirements

Minimum Age Requirements help keep younger workers safe by limiting their exposure to hazards like hot grills, crime, and large moving equipment. The limits vary by age with 12-14 year-olds having different restrictions than 15-17 year olds. You can learn more by reading Your Child At Work at http://www.whs.gov.ab.ca.

 

You can help your son stay safe at work by encouraging him to ask his supervisor about the hazards of his job and teaching him how to appropriately insist on safety training if it hasn’t been given. You can help your son understand the importance of safety at work by using real-life examples.

 

If you’d like more advice and tips, read X-Treme Safety: A Survival Guide for New and Young Workers at http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/xtremesafety.pdf.

 

You can also encourage your son to check out the http://bloodylucky.ca web site that features short videos based on actual workplace incidents involving young workers.

 

If you need help with a concern involving the health and safety of your son’s workplace, call the Workplace Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-866-415-8690.

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 

 

 


Summer Job

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Dear Working Wise:

I read a newspaper article last week that said the job market for summer students is going to be tough again this year. What can my son do to increase his chances of landing a good job this summer and save for university? Signed, Concerned Mom

 

Dear Concerned Mom:

 

It’s hard to predict what will happen this summer, but last summer was tougher for students than in past years.

 

The good news is that Alberta has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the country—there is still a lot of opportunity out there.

 

What this means is that your son just may have to work a little harder and try a few new techniques. Here are some tips to help your son land a good summer job.

 

Start early

Students should start looking for a summer job in the spring—not after the May long weekend.

 

Write a resume

More and more employers, even fast-food restaurants, expect resumes. If you’re not sure how to write a resume, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site at http://alis.alberta.ca/ and check out their tip sheets and sample resumes. Show your future boss that you mean business by ensuring your resume is free of errors and looks professional. Ask a parent or someone else you trust to review your resume and make suggestions. You can also use the free e-Resume Review Service on the ALIS website.

 

Target your resume and cover letter

Write a new cover letter for each job you apply for—stressing your most relevant skills and experience right up front.

 

Network

Use your network of friends and family to get the message out that you are looking for work. Most jobs are not advertised—networking is a great way to tap into that hidden job market.

 

Target your search

Check all the usual places for job postings like the job bank http://www.jobbank.gc.ca, online job boards, your school’s job board, My Job Finder magazine, and the classifieds in your local newspaper. You can try targeting businesses that get busier in the summer. You might also want to target industries that interest you. A summer job is a great way to explore a career before you invest years of post-secondary training. The experience and people connections you develop may also make it easier to break into your chosen career after you graduate.

 

Attend job fairs

Did you know that there are job fairs happening all year long around the province? Check out upcoming job fairs near you at http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

 

Use government services

The federal and provincial governments offer free career services, including help with resumes, job interviews, and job searches. Put these free services to work for you.

 

Labour Market Information Centres

Visit: http://employment.alberta.ca/lmic to find the centre nearest you.

 

Youth Connections

Visit: http://employment.alberta.ca/lmic to find the service nearest you.

 

Service Canada Centres for Youth

Open May – August every year

Visit http://www.youth.gc.ca/eng/topics/jobs/sccy.shtml to find the centre nearest you.

 

Prepare for the job interview

Once you’ve got a job interview, put your best foot forward. Check out the job-interview tip sheets on the ALIS web site at http://alis.alberta.ca/.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

Photo by ©iStockphoto.com/qchutka

 

New Graduate Job Search

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Dear Working Wise:

I am about to graduate with a diploma in business administration. I’m really excited to get out there and start working, but stories about the gloomy job market have me worried. Do you have any tips to help me land my first job? Signed, Eager Graduate

 

Dear Eager:

 

The unemployment rate has increased over the past year, but Alberta’s unemployment rate remains the third-lowest in the country, and so there is still a lot of opportunity out there. Here are some ideas and tips to help you break into the job market.

 

Use your school

Ask the chair of your program for advice and suggestions about where to look for jobs. Put your school’s career services office to work for you. These offices usually provide help with resumes and job searches. Employers interested in hiring new graduates also often post jobs on their job boards.

 

Polish your resume

Is your resume representing you as well as it should? Recruiters spend as little as 30 seconds glancing at your resume—does yours scream “I’m perfect for this job”? Target your resume and cover letter to each specific job by listing your most relevant skills, qualifications, training, accomplishments and experience right at the top. Fill your resume with key words from the job posting. Eliminate errors and ensure your resume looks as professional as you are. Always include a cover letter with your resume and use it to quickly explain why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Want an expert opinion on your resume? Use the free e-Resume review service at http://alis.alberta.ca.

 

Attend job fairs

Did you know that there are job fairs happening all year long around the province? Check out upcoming job fairs near you at http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

 

Network

Let your network of friends, family and teachers along with your former employers know that you are looking for a new job. Some people estimate that fewer than half of all jobs are actually advertised. Networking is a great way to tap into that hidden job market. Send everyone you know an e-mail letting them know what kind of job you’re looking for along with a quick summary of your skills, training and experience. Attach your resume if you feel comfortable and don’t forget to update, clean up, and use your social networking sites, like Facebook and Linked-In.

 

Expand your job search

Some grads make the mistake of limiting their job search to a specific occupation, industry, or organization type. Take inventory of your transferable skills—like organizational, computer, and time-management skills—and consider opportunities in related occupations and industries. Don’t forget to check out small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

 

Register with recruitment agencies

Some employers have stopped advertising job opportunities and are relying on word-of-mouth and recruitment agencies. Agencies will not look for a job for you, but they will call you if you are a good match for a position they are recruiting for. Registering with recruitment agencies is free, takes very little time, and is another great way to tap into the hidden job market. Some agencies specialize in specific occupations and industries and so it would be a good idea to figure out which agencies are the right ones for you. You can start by checking out http://alis.alberta.ca/js/ws/jp/jobpostings/ea.html.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a regional manager with Alberta Employment and Immigration. This column is provided for general information.

 

Please credit the photo:©iStockphoto.com/Cimmerian


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