A portion of the Valid Manufacturing plant in Salmon Arm’s Industrial Park. (Photo contributed)

Looking for a job? Now’s a good time in Salmon Arm

Trends show workers needed in trades, service industry, high-tech manufacturing and more

It’s a good time to be looking for a job in Salmon Arm, according to those people who deal with job trends.

The ‘however’ is, it helps if you have accommodation, transportation and, in some cases, training.

At Work BC, centre manager Jennifer Beckett says that although she doesn’t have official statistics, a lot of employers have been looking for workers.

Many openings are for entry level positions and, in the summer, seasonal work, often in the service industry. But that’s generally not enough money to live on.

However, entry level positions are definitely not the only jobs available.

“We are actually seeing an increase in really good jobs, good wages, with employers willing to train. More so than in recent years,” Beckett says.

People in demand are skilled trades workers, such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians, she explains, pointing out that trades are a good sector to get into right now.

In the trades, a lot of older people are retiring, making way for a new crop of workers.

Read more: Trades programs helping to fill gaps in the job market

Read more: Enderby job fair overwhelming success

Other employees in demand are in the health-care field and early childhood education. Workers in agriculture are also needed, but often on a seasonal basis.

She notes that when Waterways Houseboats closed, the seasonal market appeared to have been able to absorb those 50 jobs.

One area of casual jobs the Salmon Arm centre is seeing comes from older, retired people who need help with work, even as far as the South Shuswap.

Beckett says feedback in some instances from people getting jobs is that the wages don’t match the cost of living. People are feeling the cost of fuel and groceries. Other obstacles the centre hears about is the need for more public transportation and the scarcity of affordable rental housing and daycare.

She said the centre seems to see more older people than it once did, some going through a transition in their field of work.

“We see all age groups getting hired.”

At Okanagan College in Salmon Arm, Brent Moffat, trades and projects administrator, has seen the same trend with trades.

“Trades are huge,” he says, pointing to the combination of more housing being built in Salmon Arm along with baby boomers who worked in the trades retiring.

“We just haven’t been training a lot of apprentices and now we are because we need them.”

Read more: Mr. Mikes restaurant opens doors in Salmon Arm

Read more: Are robots coming for your jobs? This think tank says no

Read more: Making jobs more accessible to everyone

He said he gets a lot of calls from the industrial park, not always for someone with a trade but for someone with experience in a field like autobody work, for instance. Someone who has attention to detail.

The other area is in high-tech manufacturing. He says employers like USNR, Valid Manufacturing, Technology Brewing, Access Precision Machining, require trained personnel.

Moffat refers to the term ‘mechatronics.’

“They’re essentially millwrights in a high-tech manufacturing world. They fix lasers, scanners, optimizers and computers.”

He said it wasn’t until the city did its branding project that people realized there are 700 people working in high-tech manufacturing in Salmon Arm.

The other thing that’s really important about employment, he says, is when people think ‘education’ they think four years. In reality, they could do a six-month office administration course and be working for $18 to $20 per hour.

@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

.

.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Major Rotary gift supports nursing education at Kelowna post-secondary schools

Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) are each receiving $50,000

Vernon officer returns soccer ball and boy’s smile

RCMP officer retrieves errant soccer ball, returns it to five-year-old with cruiser lights flashing

Queen Silver Star tradition upheld despite COVID-19

Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, Armstrong and Enderby youth can apply

Class resumption raises challenges for Central Okanagan schools

Education ministry directive to resume K-12 classes Sept. 8 creating many questions

Morning Start: High heels were first designed for men

Your morning start for Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

No new COVID-19 cases in Kelowna over the weekend

Kelowna has nine of the Interior Health region’s 13 active cases

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

West Kelowna woman upset with RCMP response to street brawl

A physical altercation between a group of teens and a group of adults erupted on a West Kelowna street Sunday evening

Kelowna real estate agent fined $6,500 for ‘misleading’ website

The website listed several services its owner was not licensed to provide

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Most Read