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

.

.

Just Posted

Okanagan and Shuswap blossom at Communities in Bloom awards

District of Sicamous, City of Armstrong double winners at B.C. awards gala; Lumby also a winner

Internet speed testing implemented in the CSRD

Test results will be tracked to find areas where improvement is needed.

Sicamous Eagles lose two on the road

Despite late offensive surges, the Sicamous squad came up short in Spokane and the Beaver Valley.

What financial commitments do you want from candidates running for prime minister?

As the federal election quickly approaches, the Observer took to the streets… Continue reading

In photos: Magician entertains in downtown Salmon Arm

Children of Salmon Arm were treated to the wonders of magician Leif… Continue reading

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Former South Okanagan resident found dead in Alberta

Candace Deleeuw was reported missing Sept. 16

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Most Read