The annual upswing in hiring is just over the horizon with more than 30 companies already signed up for the Kamloops Spring Hiring Fair.
This year’s event is still more than six weeks away, but Work B.C. representatives are anxious to get the word out because they had to turn away several employers last year after reaching capacity, said Mallory Bilodeau of Open Door Group. The nonprofit agency delivers Employment Program B.C. services in the region.
“I don’t want to turn anybody down who wants to attend,” Bilodeau said.
For job seekers and employers, the twice annual hiring fairs have become a prime opportunity to scout the field, connect with each other and forge new opportunities. The spring fair in particular is a busy one due to seasonal hiring in many sectors.
Bilodeau said that layoffs in the energy and resource sectors have had an impact locally, noting recent cuts by manufacturer Horizon North. There has been an influx of displace workers searching for employment through the agency.
“I wouldn’t say it’s been huge, but everyday we see somebody from up north coming in.”
At the same time there are prospects on the horizon. CandoRail Services is expected to proceed with its rail service facility in Kamloops this spring and Horizon North is hoping to rehire workers if it can confirm orders for its prefabricated buildings. Kinder Morgan Canada had planned to attend the fair but pulled out due to a delay in moving the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal through the regulatory process.
The overall job market is a mixed one, though. Bilodeau noted that there are employers in Kamloops who are struggling to find workers. That’s where Work B.C. sees an opportunity in its EPBC wage subsidy program, an incentive that can reduce the employer’s cost of hiring while enabling workers to gain a foothold. The subsidy offers up to 50 per cent of wages for up to six months.
Work B.C. is considering the possibility of offering information sessions if there is sufficient interest.
The fair takes place April 7 from noon to 4 p.m. at The Coast Kamloops Hotel and Convention Centre, 1250 Rogers Way.
Employers can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 250-434-9441.
Here are the companies that plan to have booths at the fair:
Skilled Trades Employment Program
Axis Family Resources
Sprott Shaw Community College
Rainbow International Restoration of Kamloops
South Thompson Inn
Professional Warehouse Demonstrators
Thompson Okanagan Community Services Co-Op
Mark's Work Wearhouse
Kamloops Indian Band
Kamloops Regional Correction Centre
Industry Training Authority