Sector Councils and You


Defining it: What is a Sector Council?

“Sector councils are industry-led partnership organizations that address skills development issues and implement solutions in key sectors of the economy.   Today’s global marketplace is changing at an unprecedented rate; dramatic shifts in the economy, large scale layoffs, recession, changing demographics and the pace of technological advancements combine to add pressure to an already competitive labour market.  It is essential that Canadians are prepared to meet these challenges with the skills, knowledge and confidence that are required to succeed in this new landscape.   Sector councils work as a uniting element to engage employers, workers, educators, professional associations and government in a strategic alliance that is focused on implementing solutions to the specific skills and human resource needs that will enable their sector to thrive.

Sector councils focus on:

For the next few weeks, we will profile four sector councils that are setting the standard by undertaking programs that anticipate and respond to skills and labour market issues affecting their industries. With a number of education/training and on-the-job support programs, competitive pay rates, and numerous benefits, these sector councils represent industries that claim to offer growth, stability and career progression.

If you are starting your search or you’ve been thinking of switching to a new career but you just haven’t found the one; read on and find out how to ‘uncover’ your potential.

Canadian Automotive and Repair Council

Wonder What Training You Need To Work in Auto Repair and Service?

Are you the type who has always tinkered with engines in your backyard? Think it would be fun to work as a parts runner? The Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Council website provides human-resource and learning tools that are convenient, accessible, fun to use and custom designed for automotive repair. Visit:

A snapshot of the CARS youth website; click above to visit it.
A snapshot of the CARS youth website; click above to visit it.

These initiatives ensure that employers and employees who work in this industry can access best practices, obtain the latest skills, and discover more about the latest technologies and trends.

The caresyouth site will respond to frequently asked questions that youth, educators, employers and parents may have regarding the many choices available.

The chart below offers a good snapshot of the many occupations in the industry:

Click for a large printable version
Click for a large printable version

Sample of Powell River Businesses in this Sector:

Ace Auto Electric
Big O Tires
Canadian Tire
Dox Auto Tech
El’s Auto Tech
Hi-Tech Auto Rebuilders
Kal Tire/Aero Auto Sense
Massullo Motors
NAPA Auto Parts
New Image Auto and Detail
Pinetree Autobody
Quality Parts
River City Auto
Valley Auto Repair
Vanderkemp Sales & Service

Networking & Your Personal Skills Inventory

1194812_starting_the_carWe are seeing more first-time job seekers here in the Career Link self-help Career Lab now that late spring and summer jobs are just around the corner. That’s a good thing indeed.

It can be difficult to construct that first resume (or the first one you’ve made in a while). We are here to help you with this, but remember that beyond our own job postings and Facebook posts, there is a largely untapped world of ‘hidden jobs’ (jobs that employers have not advertised) that rely entirely on networking.

Here are the top-eight tips for networking, followed by some handy tips on how you can identify your strengths via a ‘Skills Inventory’. Remember that many jobs (even unpaid tasks and things we take for granted like chores or volunteering) have aspects that could be of use to your future employers.

This information below is based on:

1.   Know yourself: what you do well, and what you like to do. Complete a skills inventory (see below) to help you learn what you have to offer an employer.

2.   Make connections. Think about what kind of job you want, and identify people in your network of friends, family and acquaintences who can help get you closer to your goal. LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WORK.

3.   Think about what you want to say. Before calling an employer, prepare a loose script that you’re comfortable with (but don’t read directly off of this nor memorize it). For example: “Hello, my name is ____________. I understand that your company does _____, and that’s my area of career interest. I was wondering if you had any current job openings.”

4.   Refresh their memory. When contacting acquaintances you haven’t been in contact with for a while, help jog their memory by letting them know who you are and how they know you.

5.   Be yourself. Networking is all about building relationships. Don’t pretend to be someone else; your healthiest and strongest relationships are often the ones where you are completely yourself.

6.   Be humble. Focus on sharing what you have to offer, not bragging.

7.   Manners count. Be polite. People are more likely to do a favour for someone nice and tactful than someone who comes across as pushy.

8.   Follow up, but don’t be annoying. Following up on conversations or opportunities is a good idea. Nagging? Not so much.

1269793_giving_a_handWhat is a ‘Skills inventory’?

Before you try to convince an employer that you’re the person they need to hire, you should identify all the skills you have to offer. It’s a lot harder to talk about your strengths if you don’t know what they are in the first place!

Find your transferable skills

Everything you learn and every skill you have is part of your personal tool kit. You carry these “tools” with you as you move through school and into the job market. When you develop a skill or gain experience in one place and put what you’ve learned to use someplace else, you’re using transferable skills.

Look through the following lists and check off every skill that you think you have.

Key skills – I can:

  • meet deadlines
  • supervise others
  •  solve problems
  • teach others and give clear instructions
  •  manage people
  •  organize and manage projects

Hands-on skills – I can:

  •  assemble kits
  • build or repair things
  •  work well with my hands
  •  drive or operate vehicles
  •  inspect and maintain equipment or vehicles

Data/information skills – I can:

  • make a budget, manage money
  • record facts, classify information by date
  •  analyze data, audit and maintain records
  • check information for accuracy
  •  pay attention to details

Leadership skills – I can:

  •  arrange meetings or social functions
  • be competitive when necessary
  •  make decisions
  •  direct the work of others

People skills – I can:

  • help and care for others
  •  manage conflicts, resolve issues
  •  counsel people
  •  be tactful and diplomatic
  •  interview people

Creative/artistic skills – I can:

  •  write short stories or articles
  •  express myself through music, poetry, or art
  • design posters, draw cartoons and illustrations
  •  use computers to create presentations
  •  design and lay out Web pages

Verbal/communication skills – I can:

  •  clearly express myself
  • talk easily with others
  •  create and talk about new ideas
  •  design presentations
  •  be inventive

glassesFind your hidden skills

You may have some valuable skills that you haven’t thought about including on your résumé. Follow these six steps to identify your hidden skills:

1) List all your previous and current experiences, at work and in other contexts.

When you think about your skills, don’t just consider paid work. You can also draw from extracurricular activities at school, time spent volunteering, and even hobbies.

2) Describe the tasks you completed using action words for each experience.

For example, suppose you worked in a coffee shop. You might describe the tasks you completed like this:

  • I followed recipes, mixed ingredients, set temperatures, baked muffins, and mixed a variety of hot and cold coffee and tea drinks.
  • I worked with complex equipment.
  • I operated a cash register, made change, and balanced the day’s receipts.
  • I worked with others under sometimes busy or stressful situations.

3) Identify the skill(s) required to complete those tasks.

Your list of skills might look something like this:

  • manual skills
  • computer skills
  • financial and number skills
  • teamwork and patience skills

4) List other things you learned to do in that job.

Other things you learned working in the coffee shop include how to:

  • manage your time responsibly and organize your work
  • serve customers in a professional and friendly way
  • display products so people will buy them

5) Identify the skills you gained from the other things you learned.

Your list of skills might look something like this:

  • time management skills
  • customer service and communication skills
  • marketing and promotional skills

6) Build strong sentences by combining the skills you developed with the tasks you completed.

  • I developed marketing and creative skills while designing window displays to attract customers.
  • I developed communication skills while serving customers and working with my co-workers.
  • I developed promotional skills while helping customers decide what to order.
  • I developed financial skills while making change, ordering inventory, and balancing the day’s receipts.

Find your job-related skills

Job-related skills are those that you need for a particular job. An office worker needs computer and keyboarding skills, a mechanic has to understand repairs and how to use tools, and a cashier must be able to make change and use a cash register.

When you’re about to apply for a specific job, review your lists of skills and highlight the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Once you have these elements, put them together into a résumé that will work for you.


Jobs with Elections BC


  • Are you looking to earn some extra cash?
  • Does $250 for working one day sound good?
  • Do you have one day available to gain some work experience?
  • If you answered YES – then Elections BC may have a job for you!

electionsElection workers are needed to work on General Voting Day, May 14, 2013 as Voting Officers, Voting Clerks, Information Officers, and Supervisory Voting Officers.

The work day is long – 14 hours or more. Election workers must be prepared to sit or stand for long periods. The work day begins with the set-up of the voting place at 7:00 a.m. and concludes with the completion of the ballot count at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Experience and Skills Required:

 basic English language and literacy skills

 ability to be impartial and non-partisan

 good communication and people skills to provide customer service

 ability to perform repetitive tasks

 basic arithmetic skills

To apply for an election worker position, interested applicants can either:

a. Complete an expression of interest form on the website –, or

b. Apply in person at their District Electoral Office once open on April 8th.

BC Employment Assistance Clients If you are interested in applying for any of the Election BC positions the table below will give you an idea of how these earnings could affect your Income Assistance payments. Please note other circumstances may impact the amount of income assistance you are eligible for. Please contact the Ministry at 1-866-866-0800 if you have any questions related to your individual circumstances. If you are participating in phase 1 of the Annualized Earnings Exemption please contact the Ministry. If you work for Elections BC you will receive the earnings in May and you would report those earnings on June’s cheque stub (SD81) and it would affect your July assistance.


VIU’s Building Service Worker Program May 13-June 8

Building Service Worker
Building Service Worker

Employment Skills Access: Building Service Worker Program at the Powell River Campus of Vancouver Island University (VIU) (view full brochure here)
The primary focus of the program is learning and practicing the specific skills required for  building service workers (including WHMIS and OFA). In addition, the program supports  student success through the Foundation

Skills Training course that will orient participants  to the building service industry (see below for a description of this industry).

This course includes discussion with employers about their expectations and requirements, and emphasizes development and practice of  Essential Skills relevant to the industry. The Transition to Employment component assists  participants with resume preparation and job search skills and resources.
This program is being funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation’s
Employment Skills Access (ESA) Program. Tuition and materials are available for
participants that meet the criteria of the ESA program. Funding for this training program
will be administered by Vancouver Island University (VIU).
These courses are designed to enhance participants in successfully entering/reentering
the workforce. Graduates of the program secure employment in entry level
custodial positions in school districts, hospitals, other institutions, hotels, offices, and
industrial settings.

Upon successful completion,  students will receive certificates in the following:

  •  WHMIS
  •  Occupational First Aid – Level 1
  •  Building Service Worker Certificate

Dates are as follows: May 13 – June 8, 2013 (Powell River)

This program has been selected to assist unemployed individuals gain employment and will cover all tuition and books for students that meet the eligibility criteria of the ESA program, namely the person:
 Be unemployed:
 Is not on EI/attached to EI in the past three years for a regular claim or past five years for a Maternity/Parental claim.
How to Register
Interested parties should contact:
Krista Convey, ESA Client Manager
Telephone: 250-740-6163
Cell: 250-618-7748
Marion Knost, ESA Program Manager
Telephone: 250-740-6364


About the Building Service Industry

“Many businesses don’t do all of the day-to-day work that is required to keep their organization operating smoothly. Instead, they hire companies that provide specialized services. Many of the organizations that provide these types of services are in the business, building & other support services industry. They provide services that are used by both business and personal clients.

What’s included in business, building & other support services?

  • The day-to-day operation and management of businesses and buildings involves a number of different types of services provided by establishments in this industry.
  • Building services, the largest employer in this industry, includes janitorial, window cleaning, landscaping, carpet & chimney cleaning, and other services related to maintaining buildings in good order. Some of these services may be used by private households as well as businesses.
  • The security industry includes establishments that provide security (including remote monitoring using electronic security systems), armored car, locksmithing, and investigation services to business clients as well as households.   Business services support the day-to-day operations of other businesses, and include office administration, facilities support, document preparation, call centres, copy shops & other business service centres, collection agencies, and credit bureaus.
  • Travelling services are primarily travel agencies, tour operators, and other establishments providing travel arrangement and reservation services to individuals as well as other businesses.
  • Employment services include employment placement agencies and temporary help services.
  • Establishments that manage companies and enterprises, hold a controlling interest in the securities or financial assets, or influence the management of these organizations are also included in this industry. This includes holding companies and head offices.
  • Convention & trade show organizers, and other support services such as auctioneering and reading meters are also included in this industry.
  • Waste management & remediation services includes waste collection, treatment and disposable, remediation and cleanup of building, mine sites, soil or ground water, and recycling services.”


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