A province-wide initiative that aims to help young people determine their future career paths made a stop in Squamish last week on the eve of the Live at Squamish music festival.
JobFest, a rock-concert-themed mobile initiative of the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, took over the parking area that regularly hosts the Squamish Farmers’ Market on Cleveland Avenue last Wednesday (Aug. 22). It included high-tech, interactive information displays designed to help those seeking information about various careers and job training to narrow down their future employment options.
In the next decade, there will be more than one million job openings in B.C. More than 350,000 new jobs are expected, and growth in the demand for workers will exceed the increase in the available supply by 61,500 by 2020. Hence, the need for young people to make informed decisions about their future employement.
As a rock band played on stage, staff from JobFest helped guide attendees through the various tools and programs geared toward different demographics. For example, while some of the computerized tools and surveys were aimed specifically at recent high school graduates, others were geared toward those already in postsecondary institutions, but still weighing their career options, said tour manager Daisy Blue Groff.
“It’s geared toward high school and postsecondary, or if you’ve already gone down a path and you want a change, this is designed to help you decide which way to go,” Blue Groff said.
Representatives of Capilano University and the Squamish Nation were also on hand to provide information about career training and the like.
One of the high-tech tools was a survey with 17 questions about attendees’ skills and aptitudes. After answering the questions, each person taking the survey received a list with approximately 20 different suggested careers, Blue Groff said.
JobFest completed a tour of 26 communities in northern B.C. earlier this year. The tour through 24 southern B.C. communities runs through October.