Carmanah cuts

One of Victoria’s largest technology companies, Carmanah Technologies Corp has announced cuts to its workforce. They will also be closingtheir manufacturing plant in Saanich. See this article for more information.

Items of note

I want to draw your attention to a couple of items you may find interesting.

  • For those of you looking to register for Camosun College courses that start in September we have been informed that you can begin registering on July 7th. Contact Camosun for more information.
  • The next VIATeC VIAfest is scheduled for July 31st. See their website for more info on this networking opportunity.

Resource:Immigrants and the World of Work

On the Ministry of Economic Development’s web site you will find a helpful document entitled Immigrants and the World of Work. The document, which is available in seven different languages looks at some of the challenges that immigrants face as they seek to start or continue a career in BC. There is clearly-written content that covers such issues as dealing with a lack of Canadian work experience and understanding Canadian workplace culture. Check it out.

The power of language

I want to draw your attention to an excellent post from the Water Cooler Wisdom blog that looks at the relation between literacy and earning potential. Also provided are a couple of concrete tips on how to improve our English language skills.

Tough Interview Questions

Not all interview questions are created equal. This blog post looks at some questions that can be challenging to answer. I’ve excerpted a few below but check out the post for more examples.


  • In what ways do you support a company’s vision and values and in what ways do you sabotage it? (Engineer – Manufacturing)
  • In general, would your colleagues describe you as a giver, or a taker, and share some examples? (Project Coordinator – Non-Profit)
  • By your very nature, do you act or react and give us specific examples of your choice. (Customer Service – Telecommunications)
  • If you read the full list and feel that you could not answer these types of questions you can contact Dan or Tony and we can help you prepare for these type of difficult questions.


    In search of a shortage

    Print media is full of articles that claim there is a labour shortage in Canada. It is reported so often and is so rarely challenged that this bit of conventional wisdom has taken hold to the degree that it is widely assumed that there are not enough workers in Canada to fill all of the available jobs.

    This is partly true. Canada is not suffering from a people shortage however but rather a skill shortage. There are sectors where skilled workers who are looking for work are few but famed demographer David Foot reminds us that this problem will be solved in the near future by the demographic realities of Canadian society. He claims that baby-boomers will be prepared to stay on the job longer and that their children (echo boomers) exist in sufficient quantity to solve the skill shortage problem.


    Stepping stones

    Many of our clients who have professional designations in engineering, information technology, construction, electronics and other fields will want to take note of a recent article from the Times-Colonist. A common tactic for newcomers to Canada to take is to seek employment in their field at a level with less responsibility. This allows individuals to establish themselves, build their networks, dust off old skills and learn new ones as they improve their English language proficiency (if necessary).

    With engineers and other professionals this can often mean working as a Technoligist or Technician which usually avoids the requirement of having to register with a professional association such as APEGBC. This allows immigrants to generate an income while they work towards their goal of having their credentials fully recognized.

    The newly-formed Technology Education & Careers Council projects that there will be a 70% shortfall in supervisors, managers and contractors in trades and technologies. The Times-Colonist article claims that many technicians are retiring and that schools have had to cut related programs due to declining enrollment.

    These new opportunites will allow many of you to find meaningful, viable employment as you continue to work on your long-term goals.

    Seminar for Internationally Trained Engineers

    The Society for Internationally Trained Engineers is hosting a seminar on June 14th 2008. Note that this event is in Vancouver. See their website for details.

    “Crisis” in the tourism sector

    The tourism industry has been steadily growing in BC.  Employment projections for this sector have been optimistic thanks in part to momentum built up from the 2010 Winter Olympics. Storm clouds are now on the horizon however and some experts are concerned about the future of this industry.

    Tourism growth has been fueled in recent years by a low dollar, a strong US economy and “reasonable” (in retrospect) gas prices. These conditions no longer exist and the potential influx of Chinese tourists has not yet materialized.

    Most sectors experience slumps which can cause concern for job seekers those already working in the field. The good news is that the Olympic games will partially shield BC from a downturn in tourism activity and this sector has steadily grown over the last few decades. Next year, other global and economic factors may result in these storm clouds to dissipate.

    Greater Victoria: lowest unemployment rate in Canada

    The latest employment numbers from StatsCanada shows that jobs are continuing to be created at an impressive rate in the Victoria region. Over the last 12 months over 13,000 jobs have been added to the economy including 1,800 for last month. Some sectors were creating more employment growth than others.

    Most of the new employment was in educational services, healthcare and social assistance, accommodation and food services and social assistance, said Vincent Ferrao of Statistics Canada.

    Sixty-seven per cent of the population over the age of 15 is in the workforce.