Staff at Kootenay Employment Services’ Fernie branch. Photo Submitted

New programs at Kootenay Employment Services

Kootenay Employment Services Society (KES) is offering additional services in 2020 to help job seekers be more successful with their employment goals.

“With the unemployment rate at an all-time low, we are in the midst of a very unique labour market environment,” said Londa Morris, regional employment programs manager. “While job boards are often full of opportunities, many jobs require higher skillsets. Many job seekers do not possess specialized training and find themselves lost in the current labour market.”

For 2020, employment counsellors are available to support job seekers as they explore their options. According to KES, this can mean anything from upgrading skills to boosting career opportunities or even completing retraining to help kickstart a career.

KES is also launching a new workshop series that is “tailored to the current labour market.” The workshops will include topics such as goal setting, budgeting, networking, career assessment and computer basics.

The employment service notes that “across the Kootenay, the cost of living is high, and many available opportunities are part-time and do not provide a living wage.” With their various employment programs, KES aims to support individuals to gain the skills they need to be successful, no matter their background.

The Aspire Youth program is specifically designed to tackle the barriers that youth are facing when trying to enter the job market. On the other end of the spectrum, the Encore Older Workers program empowers older workers to overcome obstacles such as age discrimination and technological barriers.

Another program that KES runs is specifically targeted towards those who have experienced violence or abuse. The Thrive program acknowledges that when someone has suffered violence, “they do not always recognize the impact it has on their confidence.”

With these three programs, plus a host of other supports and opportunities, KES is setting people up for career and employment success.

KES operates out of Fernie, Cranbrook, Creston and Invermere.

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