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Dwight Hall hosts BC Ferries job fair

Hiring blitz takes place this week for positions at Westview and Saltery Bay terminals

After a few tumultuous years of sailing cancellations, staff shortages and the firing of CEO Mark Collins in 2022, BC Ferries wants to rebuild its reputation as a good employer, and boost its reputation with the public as a reliable form of transportation.

Deborah Marshall, executive director, public affairs for the ferry company, said that in an effort to both attract and retain employees, BC Ferries has introduced incentives and guaranteed hours for new employees, enhanced allowances for employees with certain technical qualifications and those who work overnight hours.

“We are holding a job fair on March 22 in Powell River at Dwight Hall, 6274 Walnut Street, from 9 am to 5 pm,” said Marshall. “We’ll be interviewing for customer service attendants and terminal services attendants for both Westview and Saltery Bay terminals.”

She also emphasized that there is a worldwide shortage of mariners, with fewer young people entering the marine sector.

“British Columbia has one of the highest employment rates in Canada, making the job market very competitive,” added Marshall. “We are continuing to review ways of ensuring our job postings are attractive to both new and existing employees.”

The ferry operator connects coastal communities to Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, plus the Northern Coast, Gulf and Discovery Islands, but has had to scramble this past year or so to find enough crew to operate safely. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Ferries laid off more than 1,000 employees, but was forced by arbitration to return the workers to their jobs. Another blow to ferry operations was when an estimated 150 employees were laid off in January 2022, when the vaccine mandate was in place for BC Ferry workers, later that year that requirement was lifted.

BC Ferries is holding hiring fairs not only in the qathet region, but for all its sailing locations. According to its website announcement, interested residents are encouraged to sign up for an interview online, and bring their resume to the event on Wednesday.

“We are also partnering with WorkBC to promote BC Ferries as an employer of choice, and reaching out to prospective employees through educational institutions,” said Marshall.

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