BC Ferries is looking to hire more than 500 people in a push to combat a shortage of workers that, in recent years, has forced the company to cancel sailings.
It’s the biggest campaign in the ferry company’s history, spokesperson Deborah Marshall tells CHEK News. It launched in late February, with new workers being sought to fill casual positions for upcoming shoulder and peak seasons.
On Wednesday and Thursday, BC Ferries is hosting a job fair at the Victoria Greek Community Centre on Elk Lake Drive from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s seeking customer service and terminal attendants, customer sales and service representatives, and ticket agents to work at its Swartz Bay terminal and head office in Victoria.
“Every position is integral to providing customers with an exceptional experience and ensuring ships sail,” said Marshall in an emailed statement.
BC Ferries says it will be conducting in-person interviews, prioritizing candidates who have applied for a position online. People are asked to bring their resumes and two references.
It’s a hiring blitz that comes amid ongoing crew challenges that the company continues to face. Oftentimes, sailings are cancelled due to a shortage of workers, including on Wednesday when two sailings between Campbell River and Quadra Island were scrapped.
Service resumes at 7:00 am.
Full notice online here: https://t.co/j5eo8KwcHH ^be
— BC Ferries (@BCFerries) March 15, 2023
Usually, the company employs about 5,000 people.
Yet, Marshall says B.C. has one of the highest employment rates in Canada, making the job market even more competitive. She explains there’s also a worldwide shortage of mariners, with fewer young people entering the marine sector.
“We are continuing to review ways to ensuring our job postings are attractive to both new and existing employees,” according to Marshall.
She says BC Ferries has introduced incentives and guaranteed hours for new employees, among other perks. There are enhanced allowances available for employees with certain technical qualifications, as well as for those who work overnight hours. The company also increased its training budget to support new workers.
“These jobs are located throughout coastal British Columbia, from the Metro Vancouver to the Southern Gulf Islands, throughout Vancouver Island, the Northern Gulf Islands and towards the North Coast, including Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert,” said Marshall. “Customer Care positions are also available at the head office in Victoria.”
A job fair for the Westview and Saltery Bay terminals is happening on March 22 in Powell River, while an Earls Cove and Langdale fair is on March 23 in Madeira Park.