December 5, 2016 9:15 pm

Young Kelowna job seekers take in career fair amid dismal hiring climate

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Fresh numbers from Statistics Canada reveal it’s never been harder for young people to find a full-time job.

The government agency says youth unemployment numbers are the same as they were in the mid-1970s — roughly 13 per cent.

It’s not the news young workers trying to get into the workforce want to hear, but that didn’t stop them from flocking to Monday’s career fair at Prospera Place in Kelowna.

Welding might be an option.

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“With the pipeline coming, it’s going to mean jobs for welders and it’s going to mean jobs for specifics welders — high-paying jobs for British Columbians,” Trent Konrad, of the Canadian Association of Welding, said.

Or how about a starter job at 7-11?

Ellen Terry has been with the company for 28 years. She says it’s possible to build a career at the retail chain.

“The sky is the limit. You can enter as a part-time employee or you can be an area manager. You can be a market manager, you can be a CEO,” she said.

Being a cop is also something to consider but RCMP Const. Erika Dirsus admits it can be a bit of a tough sell, especially for female recruits in the wake of recent harassment scandals.

“‘Is it difficult for a woman in the RCMP’? is the general question I’m asked,” she said.
“I say, ‘It’s difficult for anyone in any job.’ I want to be honest but I don’t want to discourage anyone from joining any police force. But I say, ‘You’re going to face challenges no matter where you are.'”

Ashton Williams, 15, says he knows what he wants to do when he grows up. He wants to be a paramedic and save lives but he knows it’s going to be a rough ride.

“It will be hard work because I know I need to get a job first before I can actually afford to get into something that will help me get in there,” Williams said.

As a backup plan, Williams picked up some hiring information from the 7-11 booth in case his dream of becoming a paramedic doesn’t work out.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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