WorkBC Centre Fernie is working to connect employers and potential employees. File Photo

Support for employers and job seekers through changing and uncertain times

By: WorkBC Centre Fernie

The WorkBC Centre in Fernie is seeing an influx of calls and emails as Elk Valley residents continue to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The office is closed to the public but virtual services available include employment counselling, administrative and workshop support by phone, email and videoconference, instead of in person. Staff are fielding a broad range of inquiries from people who have been laid off, had hours decreased, unemployed and those looking for a new career or training. Employers are also connecting with WorkBC to help fill vacant positions and access services for new hires.

COVID-19 has changed the way people look for employment and created the need to rely more on technology which has presented challenges for many. WorkBC is tailoring their services to offer modified assistance by replacing the face to face delivery of services with phone, email and video communication. Job seekers can still receive one to one employment planning and searching, skills enhancement services such as retraining and academic upgrading, customized job placement and work experience placement services, self employment services, wage subsidies and funding supports for starting a new job.

Businesses are also seeing significant changes in how they run, some of which will continue post COVID-19. Temporary and permanent closures, reduced hours, replacing staff, hiring new staff, modifying operations and adapting strategies are a reality for entrepreneurs, small companies and major corporations. At the same time, essential businesses are playing a major role in keeping our communities functioning. Grocery, health care, trucking, IT, hardware stores, couriers, retail and restaurants are also being forced to alter how they operate to accommodate increased need and demand. WorkBC is working with many of these companies to help recruit staff, advertise jobs, assist with wage subsidies and provide financial supports for new hires.

If you are an employer or looking to find work in the Elk Valley and want to access WorkBC Employment Services, contact us by phone at 250-423-4204, email at or visit

WorkBC is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

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