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:
Steering Testimonial attesting to the applicant’s ability to steer a vessel.
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, clickhere.
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.
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?
WCB Level 1 First Aid
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.
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:
Standard first aid
Transportation of dangerous goods
Workplace hazardous materials information systems (WHMIS)
Attributes & Abilities
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:
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:
Wilderness and survival
Vancouver Island and Coast Region
Usually work 40 hours a week, which can include evening and weekend shifts
Application Deadline Advice: Visit www.jibc.ca 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
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 thatwon 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 (www.planat.com) 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 www.nationalsafetycouncils.ca.
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 www.worksafebc.com under Safety.
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.
Simon Fraser University – various courses and programs in business administration, marketing, business management, and professional development www.sfu.ca
Thompson Rivers University – various programs in accommodation management, adventure guiding and food and beverage management www.tru.ca
Tourism Training Institute – various courses in tourism business management, hospitality operations and cruise hospitality www.tourismti.com
University of Northern British Columbia – various programs in natural resources management and resource-based tourism www.unbc.ca
University of Victoria – bachelor of commerce in hospitality services managementwww.uvic.ca
Vancouver Community College – hospitality management degree, baking and culinary arts courses www.vcc.ca
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 goodworkcanada.ca 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.
Are you having trouble finding qualified, motivated employees? We can help you save both time and money while meeting your recruiting needs.
Scheduled for early spring, this free event will bring together employers and jobseekers in a low-pressure, structured environment. Employers will benefit from free advertising in all press releases, newspaper and radio ads, brochures and posters.
In completing our online survey you will help us create an event that meets your needs. There is no commitment to participate in the event itself. Be among the first 10 employers to respond and you’ll receive a complimentary gift for your workplace.