Cade O’Hara picks up information at the Tartan Industrial Services booth at a job fair presented in Red Deer Friday by the private firm, Jobs Canada. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Cade O’Hara picks up information at the Tartan Industrial Services booth at a job fair presented in Red Deer Friday by the private firm, Jobs Canada. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

A slow economic recovery isn’t yet loosening Central Alberta’s tight job market

Job-seekers at Red Deer fair say there are still few openings

It’s still a tough labour market out there, according to job seekers who attended an employment fair in Red Deer on Friday.

Anyone with specific kinds of work in mind, physical limitations, or who needs training to assume a new line of employment could find the local job market difficult to crack, said Cara Girard.

The former nursing assistant from Red Deer has left many resumes around, seeking a “less physical” line of work because of a shoulder injury.

Girard would love to work with the public in some capacity, but is finding the job hunt daunting because she lacks specific experience in other lines of work.

The Red Deer resident was therefore “pleasantly surprised” to learn that a local dentistry firm at the small, private Jobs Canada fair held at the Radisson Hotel, was open to the idea of training someone for a receptionist position. Girard’s hoping her luck is about to change.

Cade O’Hara, a motorcycle mechanic from Blackfalds, is seeking short-term employment until his seasonal job begins in the spring. He said he’d love to work on quads or snowmobiles because “I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself at one end of the industry.”

But O’Hara noted these positions don’t open up often because many Central Albertans still can’t afford to take their recreation vehicles in for tune-ups or repairs in this tight economy.

“It’s tough. I’ve put out some 30 odd resumes,” and no bites so far, he added.

One company at the fair that’s looking to fill about 500 temporary positions with skilled trades people — from pipefitters to welders to boilermakers — is Tartan Industrial Services.

Company representative Jay Coupland has heard that many Alberta oilfield plants aren’t looking to significantly bump up their operations until 2019. But they still need to maintain their plants in 2018 — therefore, Tartan is looking for tradespeople who can work from two- to six-week terms in various locations to do the upkeep work.

“Things are picking up a little bit, but it’s not rebounding as much as people think, or hope,” Coupland added.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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