Blade Runners Returns Oct. 13-Nov 9 (apply today!)


October 13th-Nov 9th

At Career Link

  • 4 weeks of workshops to help you get prepared to get to work
  • Work experience placements
  • Certificate training (First Aid, Foodsafe, WHMIS, Serving it Right, World Host and more!)
  • Help with getting a Driver’s Licence
  • Funding


  • Youth ages 15-30
  • Unemployed or underemployed
  • Not a student
  • Not on EI in the past 3 years
  • Willing to work hard on yourself and try new things

Interested? Talk to the program co-ordinator, Nicole Townsend, at Career Link or 604-485-7958

A Primer for Jobs with BC Ferries

Working with BC Ferries


For most applicants, a career with BC Ferries tends to start on a temporary or part-time basis. The majority of work open to the public starts as on call shift personnel who handle everything from customer service aboard a ship, to attendants in terminals. Covering a spectrum of work on both land and sea, BC Ferries is one of the largest employers in British Columbia. Shore-based positions require that applicants be at least 16 years of age, and hold a valid drivers licence.

For oceanic operations however, requirements include being 18 years of age or older, with certain key certificates. To work aboard a ship as a deck hand with BC Ferries (or any maritime company in BC), you are required to carry MED (Marine Emergency Duties) certificate. However, to work aboard BC ferries, all positions fall under the requirements of the Transport Canada Bridge Watchman Certificate which when taken through the Western Maritime Institute contains:

After the candidate has provided Transport Canada with the above prerequisites, the candidate must succeed a written examination conducted by a Transport Canada Examiner to receive the Transport Canada Bridge Watch Rating Certificate of Competency. The entire course is 360 hours long and is designed for Entry level seafarers, however it does require that you already have a valid Seafarer s Medical or signed WMI waiver form as well as be 16 years of age to apply for these certificates.

For more information from the Western Marine Institute you can go to their web page about the Transport Canada Bridge Watchman Certificate, click here.

BC Ferries also offers a number of industrial jobs to those with mechanical training and certificates. For those not interested in working on a ship, but rather in maintenance and repair, B.C. ferries is constantly looking for people who can keep the many ships that they operate up to date, and fully functioning.

These jobs however require considerably more experience 3-5 years of engineer experience for most of them, as well as a valid Transport Canada Motor Certificate which varies depending on the level needed for the job. For information about Transport Canada and where they operate on the west coast, you can find a full list of there offices here.

For information on the other positions that BC Ferries offers and what those jobs require, click here, and for all the current opportunities across BC’s coast, click here.

Aboriginal in Trades & Women in Trades at VIU

What is the Powell River VIU Aboriginal in Trades Training and Women in Trades Training Program? (download the brochure)

The Powell River VIU Aboriginal in Trades Training and Women in Trades Training Program runs from September 29 – December 19, 2014 at Vancouver Island University’s Powell River campus and at Career Link.  Earn while you learn and prepare for a career in the trades. Students may be eligible to receive up to $1333 training grant while in the Program.

This 12 week Program will explore 4 different Red-Seal trade areas: Automotive Service Technician, Carpentry, Culinary Arts and Welding, in addition to essential and employability skills training and industry certificates.  Learn about Trades opportunities. Work on the skills you need to be successful in the trades, gain employment skills and secure funding for a career in the trades.

What Industry Certificates are included?

  • FoodSafe
  • Forklift Operation
  • WCB Level 1 First Aid
  • Flagging

What happens after the Program?

Program graduates who meet the requirements for Trades training in Powell River could possibly receive a TUITION Funding for Trades Training Programs offered at the Powell River campus. Seats are limited.  Worker shortages in the trades mean good opportunities for great jobs now.  Apply today and get started on a successful satisfying well paid job in the trades.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for application, all participants must fall into one of the following two categories:

a) Unemployed individuals who are determined to be non-EI clients.  Non-EI clients are individuals who do not currently qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and have not been in receipt of EI benefits within the past three years (or five years for those who received maternity or parental benefits)

b) Employed individuals who are determined to be low skilled, in particular, employed individuals who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized certification or who have low levels of literacy and essential skills.

To determine your eligibility, please review the LMA Eligibility  criteria at:

3 steps to Admission

  1. Determine Eligibility by completing the LMA Eligibility Form available at VIU, Powell River campus
  2. Submit an Application and resumé to VIU
  3. Attend an interview with the Program Instructor at a date to be determined.

Who may I contact for more information?


  • Front office 604.485.2878


  • Sandy Elvy
    Administrative Coordinator / (604)485-8027

Visit  for more information

Earn while you learn! Up to $1,333.00 in Training Grant Funding available.

A Career in Forest Firefighting


A forest fire can injure or kill animals, threaten towns and communities, emit pollutants into the air, and alter the soil and water. It can spread very quickly, and will destroy everything in its path. As a forest firefighter, it’s your job to minimize the damage that’s caused by a blaze like this one on the left by putting it out as quickly as possible. You also work to prevent fires from occurring in the first place, which involves removing fallen trees, managing controlled burning, and working to educate the community about fire prevention.

As a Forest Firefighter, the majority of your work is done outdoors as part of a crew. Many forest firefighters work where they live (and often where they grew up), protecting forests by putting out the fires that threaten their community. You are motivated and enjoy the challenge that every day brings. You are committed to your team, dedicated to physical fitness, endurance, diligence and the feeling of satisfaction knowing that you’re helping to protect the natural environment, people, and property.

The list includes typical job duties one might encounter as a forest fire fighter:

  • Use firefighting tools such as hoses, axes, and handheld radios
  • Operate and maintain skidders and bulldozers
  • Participate in water bombing operations
  • Dig trenches, cut trees, and pump water onto burning areas
  • Patrol burned areas to watch for hot spots that could restart fires
  • Prepare firefighting reports

Forest firefighters work in a variety of locations, including, but not limited to:

  • Carry heavy equipment across rough terrain
  • Handle large- or small-scale forest fires
  • Prepare firefighting reports

Before entering the workforce, forest firefighters are required to be trained in:

  • Chainsaw safety
  • Standard first aid
  • Transportation of dangerous goods
  • Workplace hazardous materials information systems (WHMIS)

Attributes & Abilitiesrelatedcareers

  • Communication skills
  • Work well as part of a team
  • Able to work in stressful situations
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • An interest in nature and the environment

You should have a strong interest in:

  • Physical education
  • Biology
  • Math
  • English

In most cases, the minimum educational requirement to work as a forest firefighter is a high school diploma. The following post-secondary programs are most applicable to a career in this field:

  • Forestry
  • Wilderness and survival
Location Wage ($/hr)
Low Median High
Vancouver Island and Coast Region 17.00 22.00 35.00
  •  Usually work 40 hours a week, which can include evening and weekend shifts
  • Wages
  • Starting wage 1st year in BC average $19-$20/hour

A few Post-Secondary Education Options

  • College of the Rockies fire training certificate
  • Location: Cranbrook Campus
  • Length: 22 Weeks
  • Tuition Levels (approx.): $13017 Total
  • Book & Supply Cost Estimates: $2500 Total
  • Credentials: Certificate
  • Confirm your program information with COTR
  • Application Deadline Advice: Applications from qualified students are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Early application is recommended.
  • Application Fee: $30


  • BSF (Major in Forest Resources Management) Degree (UBC)
  • Location: Point Grey Campus – Vancouver BC
  • Length: Four Years
  • Tuition Levels (approx.): $5720 per year
  • Book & Supply Cost Estimates: $1170 per year
  • Credentials: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Confirm your program information with UBC
  • Application Deadline Advice: Applications must be submitted by January 31 for September entry. Early application is recommended. Confirm dates with UBC.
  • Application Fee: $62


  • Career Fire Fighter Pre-Employment Certificate
  • Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC)
  • Location: Maple Ridge
  • Length: 12 weeks (30 credits)
  • Tuition Levels (approx.): $7717 Total
  • Book & Supply Cost Estimates: $258 Total
  • Credentials: Certificate
  • Confirm your program information with JIBC
  • Application Deadline Advice: Visit for further information.
  • Application Fee: $75. Apply to JIBC now with the BC Post-Secondary Application Service.


“The best way for someone to qualify for an entry-level position is to enter a program in forest management at college and complete all the requirements to earn the degree.”


  • Traveling to places that you would never otherwise see
  • Working with air operations on incident management teams, especially helicopters on fires, and getting to ‘play in the woods’ for a living
  • An opportunity to do something different every day
  • Thinking on your feet (e.g. determining whether you have a brush fire or if you’re going to a sandbagging call), you never know exactly what you have until you arrive on scene. You have to determine if you have a brush fire, if don’t know exactly the type of brush that you have, the topography, the weather, what the fire is exactly doing, or how long you are going to be working for
  • You get to stay physically fit and get to serve your community, which is admirable
  • You get to enjoy the camaraderie, working with other people and learning as well teaching them things


  • The work can be dangerous
  • Working with the forest service, sometimes we are working long hours, especially during prescribed burning season and fire season
  • Working on holidays; and when it’s a beautiful sunny day, it’s a possible fire day. While everyone else is at the beach, a ranger is sitting at home waiting on a fire
  • Being on call for fires means you have to stay close to home or close to your truck
  • Being away from your family/friends for long stretches of time, whether it’s days or weeks
  • Discomfort: sometimes sleeping out on mountainsides on rocks, on the dirt, and getting dirty for long periods of time.
  • Work outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • The work is noisy, dusty, and physically demanding




Spotlight on Careers in Adventure & Accessible Tourism


Coming on the heels of our Earth Week special series of blog posts on “Green” jobs, this month in Career Sense we feature Adventure and Accessible Tourism as a “Green” career option. The Adventure Tourism industry is gaining in popularity all the time, and especially in smaller markets like Powell River, it is a notable seasonal career option that also highlights economic diversification, contributing to our local economy in a sustainable way, if carefully managed.

The beauty of our natural surroundings is undeniable, and it makes sense to highlight it for visitors worldwide, making it accessible to them as well as helping to support local businesses and job-seekers. When done right and on a small community scale, this budding industry can increase the value of maintaining our natural environment, even from an environmental as well as economic point of view.

Did someone say “accessible”?

Speaking of “accessible”, Powell River is a good example of a tourism destination for persons with mobility challenges, with two noteworthy accessible tourism locations:

  • Inland Lake Campsite Trail System (a thirteen KM trail built around Inland Lake was finished in 1989 that won the Premier’s Award of Excellence in Design ) and
  • Mermaid Cove Dive Site (completely wheelchair accessible dive site with volunteer instructors which can be found at Mermaid Cove situated at the Saltery Bay Provincial Park).

Accessible tourism can also represent a viable and growing niche market, especially with an ageing population, and where “travelers with disabilities make up one of the fastest growing tourism market opportunities. One in eight people worldwide lives with a disability; in North America alone, people with disabilities currently spend more than $13 billion each year on travel.”Source BC Government website

The Rick Hansen Foundation has developed planat, which is an easy-to-use online ratings tool ( that allows users to post and search accessibility reviews of buildings and public spaces in communities around the world from a mobility, sight or hearing perspective.

First Steps to Employment

A good first step in getting work in the Tourism industry generally is to gain some essential training that, as  Jenni Hopkyns, Manager of Training Services at Tourism British Columbia says are  “the best way to start or get ahead in the tourism industry”. Here are some training programs you should consider:

  • FOODSAFE™: A program focusing on the dangers and prevention of food poisoning. In fact, operators of a food establishment must have a FOODSAFE certificate. Regardless of whether you’re applying for an entry-level or senior position, potential employees who have completed this training are usually the preferred candidates. This training can be done in the classroom or via correspondence.  For more information, visit FOODSAFE.
  • Serving It Right™: A self-study program that teaches the responsible service of alcohol. In order to work as a bartender or serve in a liquor establishment in BC, you are required to have this certificate. While this program provides excellent training for all servers, it is necessary for those working in private liquor stores, casinos and lounges. For more information, visit Serving It Right.
  • SuperHost®: Internationally recognized workshops for training in customer service. With various workshops ranging from the fundamentals of SuperHost® customer service to how to offer the best service across cultures and to those with disabilities, these workshops provide an effective training tool for anyone dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. For more information, visit Tourism BC.
  • emerit Professional Certification: A line of Canadian-made tourism training products to help take your career to the next level. For more information, visit emerit.
  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System): WHMIS training, Canada’s hazard classification and information standard, is a national requirement for all employees who may come in contact with hazardous materials at work. Visit
  • First Aid Certification: All companies within British Columbia are required by law to meet the requirements of WorkSafeBC in terms of first aid services—including having at least one staff member who is certified in first aid treatment. For more information, visit under Safety.

Republished from:

Do I Need a Post-secondary Degree to Pursue a Career in Tourism?

Tourism is an increasingly sophisticated sector, and as with every industry, post-secondary education will offer you more opportunities to advance into management positions. Ideally, a combination of education and experience will help you move forward in your career. Here are some of the post-secondary schools in BC that offer tourism courses and programs.

  • Art Institute of Vancouver – various courses in hospitality management, culinary arts and restaurant management
  • BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) – various courses in marketing and tourism management
  • Camosun College – various courses in golf management, business administration, hotel and restaurant management and culinary arts
  • Canadian Tourism College – various courses in hospitality and resort business management, golf tourism, travel agent training, adventure tourism and flight attendant training
  • Capilano College  various programs in tourism management, destination resort management, outdoor recreation, wilderness leadership and event management
  • College of New Caledonia – various courses in hospitality management, northern outdoor recreation and tourism administration
  • College of the Rockies – various programs in adventure tourism, eco-tourism, culinary arts, event management and recreation management
  • Douglas College – various courses in tourism and restaurant
  • Langara College – various courses in nutrition and food service, recreation leadership, travel and tourism
  • Malaspina University-College – various courses in Aboriginal sports management, culinary arts, hospitality and tourism management
  • North Island College – various courses in adventure tourism, culinary arts, food and beverage management and travel counselling
  • Northwest Community College – various courses in eco-adventure tourism, culinary arts, entrepreneurship and wilderness guiding
  • Okanagan College – various courses in cooking and culinary arts
  • Simon Fraser University – various courses and programs in business administration, marketing, business management, and professional development
  • Thompson Rivers University – various programs in accommodation management, adventure guiding and food and beverage management
  • Tourism Training Institute – various courses in tourism business management, hospitality operations and cruise hospitality
  • University of Northern British Columbia – various programs in natural resources management and resource-based tourism
  • University of Victoria – bachelor of commerce in hospitality services
  • Vancouver Community College – hospitality management degree, baking and culinary arts courses

Finding Local Work in Tourism/Adventure (Summer list)

go2 is BC’s tourism human resource association, responsible for providing labour market information, and programs and resources for recruitment, retention and training that support the growth and success of B.C.’s tourism and hospitality industry. Below are local links to individual sub-sectors that will link to maps with colourful markers that when selected, display tourism business names and sometimes links.

You can also try the website for more specifically Eco-tourism/Sustainable Tourism jobs or drop by Career Link so we can chat about some options, and you can book an appointment to see one of our counsellors.

Click the image above and use the search engines at right to define your criteria
Click the image above and use the search engines at right to define your criteria

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