Working Wise | DrumhellerMail - Page #29
10192020Mon
Last updateSat, 17 Oct 2020 8pm

I just lost my job as a manager of a video store. I would like to find a new career with better pay, but I can’t afford to spend four years in school. What are my options?

Dear Working Wise:

I just lost my job as a manager of a video store. I would like to find a new career with better pay, but I can’t afford to spend four years in school. What are my options? Signed, Want to Work

 

Dear Want:

 

Spending four years studying for a new career can be difficult for some people—especially those who are working on their second or third career.

 

Mortgages and family commitments can make a lengthy return to school nearly impossible.

 

If you are looking for job-specific training, you might want to investigate training options at Alberta’s many colleges and technical institutes. They offer programs that can range in length from four months to one year.

 

There are also many private vocation schools and colleges that offer short-term training for specific careers.

 

Earning your Class-one license, for example, can take between four and six weeks depending on your experience. And class-one drivers can earn between $15 and $30 per hour depending on the industry they work in and how far they drive from home.

 

Online- and distance-learning courses can enable you to maintain employment while upgrading your skills and are also available through many colleges and institutions. 

 

You might also want to consider a career in one of Alberta’s 50 registered trades. Registered Apprentices spend about 80 per cent of their time earning a paycheck while they learn on the job. For more information on the wide variety of career options in the trades, check out www.tradesecrets.alberta.ca.

 

Alberta Occupational Profiles (OCCinfo) is a database of more than 500 careers that you can search by job title, industry, subject and interest. You can also use the database’s advanced search by anticipated demand, physical strength required, and required training. 

 

I performed a quick search of careers that require one year or less of post-secondary training and found more than 300 occupations. You can try searching the database yourself at: www.alis.gov.ab.ca/occinfo.

 

Here are just a few examples of careers that require a year or less of formal training: Accounting Technician; Bartender; Baker; Bus Driver; Bylaw Officer; Canadian Forces Officer; Cardiology Technologist; Carpet Cleaner; Child Care Provider; Courier; Dental Assistant; Embalmer; Emergency Medical Responder; Esthetician; Flight Attendant; Floral Designer; Health Care Aide; Heavy Equipment Operator; Hospital Unit Clerk; Installer; Meat Cutter; Medical Lab Assistant; Mortgage Associate; Non-destructive Testing Technician; Parts Technician; Pet Groomer; Security Officer; Safety Officer; Shuttle-bus Driver; Special-event Coordinator; Truck Driver; Unit Clerk, Warehouse Worker/Manager, and Well Service/Testing Technician.

 

One final suggestion is to check the Canada-Alberta Job Bank www.jobbank.gc.ca and your local help-wanted ads for job postings that interest you. You can then use the Occinfo database to find out what the position salary and educational requirements are.

 

For more information on quick careers:

  • Call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753; or
  • Visit your nearest Alberta Works Office and ask to speak to a Career and Employment Consultant. You can find your nearest Alberta Works Office by clicking on www.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 regional manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

 


I run a fabrication shop and I constantly struggle to find and keep good people. Are there any programs available to help small business owners?

Dear Working Wise:

I run a fabrication shop and I constantly struggle to find and keep good people. Are there any programs available to help small business owners? Singed, Frustrated Fabricator

 

Dear Frustrated:

 

Alberta’s labour market has improved significantly over the past year.

 

We had the strongest employment growth in the country at 4.2 per cent—more than triple the national average—and gained 86,000 jobs.

 

Alberta now has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the country and we have regained all of the jobs we lost in 2009, plus more.

 

While this is all good news for job seekers, the ongoing challenge of attracting, training and retaining staff in a competitive labour market can be exhausting for weary managers.

 

And the staffing challenge is only expected to get tougher as waves of our most experienced workers begin to retire.

 

Fortunately, there are a number of free and low-cost services available to help Alberta employers.

 

Try posting a free job ad on the Canada-Alberta Job Bank web site www.jobbank.gc.ca.

 

Take advantage of free local job fairs or Employer Connections events. Employer Connections events are mini job fairs that allow you to profile your business and job opportunities to local career counsellors and job seekers http://employment.alberta.ca/jobfairs.

 

Check out the staff attraction and retention tips in the Employer Tool Kit http://employment.alberta.ca/etoolkit.

 

Post a free job ad or find out about upcoming job fairs and staff-recruitment workshops for employers on local social media channels, including:

Calgary: http://twitter.com/@CalgaryJobFeed

Red Deer: www.facebook.com/CentralAlbertaJobs

Fort McMurray: www.facebook.com/fortmcmurrayjobs

Lethbridge: www.facebook.com/Lethbridgejobs

 

Or get in touch with your local Business and Industry Liaison. Alberta Employment and Immigration has Business and Industry Liaison staff who specialize in helping employers tackle staffing challenges and navigate all of the available employer services.

 

A Business and Industry Liaison can help by:

·         Providing information on how you can tap into hidden labour pools;

·         Offering helpful publications full of staff attraction and retention tips;

·         Informing you of upcoming low-cost staff recruitment best practice workshops;

·         Guiding you toward useful statistics like wage surveys and labour market forecasts;

·         Explaining how the Disability Related Employment Supports program helps employers hire and retain employees with disabilities; and

·         Introducing you to programs that allow you to hire foreign workers if you can not find any staff locally.

 

Get in touch with your local Business and Industry Liaison today and put their expertise to work for you.

 

Call your nearest Alberta Works Office and ask to speak to a Business and Industry Liaison. You can find the Alberta Works Office nearest you by clicking on http://employment.alberta.ca/offices or by calling 310-0000.

 

You can also learn more about all of the available free and low-cost employer services by visiting http://employment.alberta.ca, clicking on the Business & Industry tab, and checking out the Building Alberta’s Workforce video.

 

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.

 

I am 64 years old, in good health, a professional engineer, and willing to work camp jobs, but the best chance I now seem to have for job appears to be truck driving. Is there no room in the energy industry for people over 60?

Dear Working Wise:

 

I am 64 years old, in good health, a professional engineer, and willing to work camp jobs, but the best chance I now seem to have for job appears to be truck driving. Is there no room in the energy industry for people over 60? Signed, Energetic Engineer

 

Dear Energetic:

 

Employers can not afford to ignore older workers. The number of mature workers aged 55 and up has doubled over the last ten years. And 190,000 of these mature workers could retire in next decade.

 

Our aging population, low birth rate and growing economy could leave Alberta short at least 77,000 skilled workers within the decade.

 

One solution is to tap into the pools of under-employed Albertans, including: youth, Aboriginal Albertans, persons with disabilities, immigrants and mature workers.

 

The Government of Alberta released a mature worker action plan this past spring to support mature workers who choose to remain in the workforce and help employers attract and retain this valuable human resource.

 

You can read the action plan for yourself at http://employment.alberta.ca.  

 

Some beliefs about aging can actually give you an advantage when you are applying for work. Surveys show that many human-resource professionals believe older workers are reliable, committed to their jobs and have a strong work ethic.

 

Still, there may be times when you have to convince employers that some negative beliefs about aging do not apply to you.

 

Here are some tips to help revitalize your job search.

 

Get the interviewDo not reveal your age. Most employers use application forms or resumés to screen job applications. Don’t make it easy for them to guess your age from your application. If you earned a credential a long time ago, let employers know you have that qualification but leave out the date you earned it and only include your more recent and relevant work experience, e.g., the last 20 years.

 

Get the wardrobe and attitudeFirst impressions are extremely important in job interviews. Make sure you look energetic, confident and up-to-date. Your clothing, shoes, grooming, and energy level say a great deal about you. Be enthusiastic about your work. Talk about your interest in new techniques and technologies. Describe situations where you have successfully taken informed risks.

 

Get the jobTry to address the employer’s concerns indirectly. Although employers may have concerns about your age, human rights law prohibits them from asking about it. You can let employers know their fears are unfounded in many ways, including:

·         Provide evidence that you are a productive worker;

·         Talk about your performance record and any formal recognition you have received;

·         If the job is physically demanding, discuss similar physically challenging tasks you have recently completed;

·         Provide examples of how you have learned to worker smarter over the years;

·         Let the employer know that you are keen to learn new skills and talk about the new skills you have recently learned;

·         Emphasize your commitment to your career and your excellent attendance record;

·         Stress your teamwork skills by mentioning times when you have worked very well with people younger than yourself.

 

You have a lot going for you. All you have to do is help interviewers look past the grey hairs and see the energetic, experienced go-getter sitting in front of them.

 

Good luck with the job hunt!

 

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.

 


The Drumheller Mail encourages commenting on our stories but due to our harassment policy we must remove any comments that are offensive, or don’t meet the guidelines of our commenting policy.