Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #20
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Last updateThu, 01 Dec 2022 3pm

I keep hearing about Alberta’s looming labour shortage, but I’ve been looking for a job as an apprentice in one of these high-demand occupations for over six weeks and I can’t find anyone who will hire me. I have years of experience working in a car-repai

Dear Working Wise:

I keep hearing about Alberta’s looming labour shortage, but I’ve been looking for a job as an apprentice in one of these high-demand occupations for over six weeks and I can’t find anyone who will hire me. I have years of experience working in a car-repair shop plus a university degree. It’s confusing to hear that companies are hurting for workers, but none seem willing to take on apprentices. Do you have any advice? Signed, Frustrated

 

Dear Frustrated:

 

The hardest part of becoming a tradesperson is finding a company willing and able to hire a first-year apprentice.

 

Most companies recognize that they must hire and train apprentices today so they will have the journeymen they will need for tomorrow, but they need journeymen today to get the work done and train apprentices.

 

Here are some tips to help you in your search for an apprentice position.

 

Search the Canada-Alberta Job Bank using the search terms "apprentice" or "helper". Some companies will hire helpers or labourers first to see if they are a good fit before indenturing them. Employers want apprentices who have a good attitude, follow instructions, enjoy working with their hands, are comfortable working safely around tools, and are eager to learn and contribute.

 

I found more than 500 jobs when I searched the Job Bank (www.jobbank.gc.ca) using the key word “apprentice”. You can also use the Job Bank’s Job Alert feature to alert you when a new apprentice job is posted.

 

Other tips:

·         Prepare a professional-looking resumé and cover letter that clearly explains your career goal and related training or experience.

·         Visit businesses that hire tradespeople, drop off your resumé, and ask to speak to the supervisor. If they are not hiring, ask if they know someone who is hiring.

·         Dress your best when you go out to meet employers. Be courteous and grateful for any help or advice employers provide.

·         Attend job fairs and talk to employers who hire tradespeople. You can find out about upcoming job fairs at http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

·         LIKE your local Alberta Works Facebook page, which feature employers who are hiring plus upcoming job fairs and career events http://bit.ly/IGmZK4.

·         Talk to tradespeople you know and get their advice on finding an apprentice position. They might even know someone who is hiring.

·         Check out Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training's website: www.tradesecrets.gov.ab.ca for more tips and information on Alberta’s 50 registered trades and how to become a tradesperson.

 

Some trades are in higher demand than others. A quick look at the Alberta Career and Industry Outlook http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/careerindustry.pdf, and the job postings on the Job Bank, will give you an idea which trades hold the greatest opportunity.

 

If you would like more help with your job search:

·         Call or email the toll-free Career Information Hotline at 1-800-661-3753 (780-422-4266 in Edmonton),  hotline@alis.gov.ab.ca

·         Visit your nearest Alberta Works Centre and ask to speak to a Career & Employment Consultant. You can find the office nearest you at http://employment.alberta.ca/offices.

 

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


I keep hearing about a looming shortage of workers in Alberta. I am just about to graduate from high school and want to know which careers will be in demand in the future.

Dear Working Wise:

I keep hearing about a looming shortage of workers in Alberta. I am just about to graduate from high school and want to know which careers will be in demand in the future. Signed, Eager for a career

 

 

Dear Eager:

 

Yes, Alberta is expected to have a shortage of approximately 114,000 workers within the decade according to Alberta’s 2011-2021 Occupational Demand and Supply Outlook,

 

But many of these occupations require specialized skills and training.

 

Finding out what careers will be in demand and what training you will need is a great idea. It doesn’t make sense to invest years and thousands of dollars into the wrong post-secondary program.

 

You might find the newly released Alberta Career and Industry Outlook, 2012 – 2015 helpful. The publication covers global trends that are affecting Alberta’s economy, the outlook for our major industries, and the projected demand for specific occupations.

 

The Outlook is available at http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/careerindustry.pdf.

 

Growth in demand for occupations is expected to average 2.7 per cent per year. Each occupation listed in the Outlook is shown as having either above-average, average, or below-average growth.

 

The following occupations are projected to experience above-average growth:

·      Administrative support clerks / regulatory occupations;

·      Athletes, coaches, referees;

·      Auditors, accountants, investment professionals;

·      Carpenters / cabinetmakers;

·      Chefs / cooks;

·      Childcare and home support workers;

·      College and other vocational instructors;

·      Contractors and supervisors (trades);

·      Crane operators, drillers and blasters;

·      Creative and performing artists;

·      Electrical trades and telecommunications occupations;

·      Facility operations and maintenance managers;

·      Finance and insurance occupations;

·      Food counter attendants and kitchen helpers;

·      Heavy equipment operators;

·      Insurance and real estate salespeople;

·      Legislators and senior managers;

·      Librarians, archivists, conservators and curators;

·      Machine operators / manufacturing / assembly workers;

·      Managers in construction, transportation, financial, business, food, accommodation, public administration, health, education social, and community services;

·      Masonry / plastering trades;

·      Metal forming, shaping, and erecting trades;

·      Food and beverage servers;

·      Construction trades;

·      Installers / repairers / servicers;

·      Plumbers / pipefitters / gasfitters;

·      Police officers / firefighters;

·      Policy/program officers/researchers/consultants;

·      Secondary and elementary school teachers;

·      Supervisors of assembly and fabrication;

·      Civil / mechanical / industrial engineering occupations;

·      Technical occupations in life sciences and libraries;

·      Trades helpers and labourers;

·      University professors and assistants; and

·      Writing, translating and public relations professionals.

 

Additional employment forecasts are available at http://employment.alberta.ca/lmi.

 

Once you have narrowed down your options, you can use the Occupational Information (OCCinfo) database of more than 500 different careers to find out more about the jobs that interest you most.

 

The OCCinfo (http://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo) occupational profiles include key information, including typical: duties, working conditions, salaries, required educational qualifications, appropriate training programs, common employers, employment advancement, and desired personal characteristics.

 

If you would like any more help planning your career, try out CareerInsite, a free online career-planning tool, at https://careerinsite.alberta.ca.

 

Good luck!

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. This column is provided for general information.

I am considering volunteering for a local non-profit board. Is this something that can help boost my career? Should I inform my employer before I agree?

Dear Working Wise:

I am considering volunteering for a local non-profit board. Is this something that can help boost my career? Should I inform my employer before I agree? Signed, Near Volunteer.

 

Dear Near Volunteer:

 

Yes, you should tell your employer about your intent, because there may be conflicts of interest between your work and volunteer roles. Your employer may also be pleasantly surprised and excited about the new contacts and skills you will develop.

 

Volunteering is a great way to develop your work-related skills and learn new skills. Members of community boards are often called on to provide a variety of services—allowing you to stretch your abilities and increase your experience.

 

The commitment that you invest into your volunteer experiences could also be a benefit when you are looking for that next job—employers like to hire community-minded people.

 

Volunteering offers you the chance to make business contacts and raise the profile of your organization. It provides opportunities for you to learn new technical skills and develop transferable people skills necessary for career success. Some non-profit organizations will even cover some of the cost of specialized training for board members or volunteers.

 

Giving back to your community may also increase your job satisfaction—people tend to feel better about their jobs when they feel better about their lives.

 

For all these reasons, volunteering can actually make you a more valuable employee to your current employer.

 

However, before you accept your new role, you should find out:

  1. How much time are they asking for?
  2. What is your job description? Is it a good fit?
  3. What are your legal liabilities as a volunteer?
  4. Do they want you to ask your employer for donations?
  5. Are there any potential conflicts of interest with your work?
  6. Do they want you to speak publicly on behalf of the organization?
  7. Will your volunteer role require your attention during working hours?
  8. What happens if you get hurt at your volunteer job? How will that affect your paid job?
  9. Has a safety and hazard assessment been done for this role? Are there safe work practices to follow?

 

Checking with your employer first and being prepared to answer these kinds of questions will reassure your employer that you have thought this through and have your employer’s needs and interests in mind.

 

Maintain an open dialogue with your employer about your volunteer activities. Keeping the lines of communication open will ensure your employer is supportive of your involvement and is aware of the kinds of new skills and experiences that you are bringing back with you to work.

 

National Volunteer Week is April 15 – 21, 2012. For more information on volunteering and National Volunteer Week, visit http://volunteer.ca

 

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. This column is provided for general information.

 

 


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