The start-stop-restart of COVID-19 has led to ‘help wanted’ requests around Nanaimo and across Vancouver Island.
Work B.C. numbers for July show that more than 2.7 million British Columbians are employed and calculate the provincial unemployment rate at 4.7 per cent.
Kim Smythe, Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, says all the businesses he has talked to are “complaining about the current state of affairs.” He said one hotel operator reported that he lined up seven interviews one morning recently to try to hire new staff members, and not even one of the applicants showed up for their interview.
“So these are the ways that we’re seeing things happen,” said Smythe. “[Another business] said, ‘The other thing I have is people will show up, I’ll hire them … I’ll hire basically anybody who shows up, and they’ll work for three days, and then they disappear.”
It isn’t only the tourism and hospitality industry suffering, said the chamber president – it’s across the board. Employers have to make it rewarding for people to want to come to work with wages higher than minimum wage, he said.
“If we could find a solution to this worker shortage, that would be step one to getting businesses back going and back on a productive basis, and then solve the supply chain issues, so we’re not all sitting around waiting for toilets and sofas and car parts and cars,” said Smythe.
Prospective workers will have an opportunity to meet with employers at Country Club Centre on Thursday, Aug. 25, as the Nanaimo Career and Post-Secondary Education Event takes place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The event is being hosted by Black Press Media and Corrections B.C.
For more information, go to https://events.blackpress.ca/nanaimo/.