EDITORIAL: Getting schooled

The Northern Sentinel editor weighs in on job prospects for current and future students.

Well depending on who you ask, either young people today have their pick of work, or, the market is competitive and marked with employment uncertainty.

Well, to be fair, there isn’t quite the confusion I’m indicating with that opening paragraph.

But I’m just reacting to an e-mail I just received from the Certified General Accountants BC association, which says that while young workers are boasting record high levels of post-secondary education, many lack the skills that are actually in demand.

“However, many post-secondary graduates are lacking the necessary credentials for these occupations, and for those seeking a job outside the trades or professions where deficits exist, it is difficult to find a good entry-level job,” Richard Rees is quoted as saying in the news release. He’s the CEO of ICABC, or the Institute of Chartered Accountants BC.

Bringing my own experiences into this, whether it was a lack of attention on my part that was the cause (very possibly!) but when I was on my way out of high school I didn’t have a firm grasp on the employment demands of the day.

I followed my interests, rather than playing the employment field for what was in demand. (In retrospect perhaps I should have majored in being a software design genius and invented a social network.)

So I can understand in my own way how there could be so many educated people out there, educated in the wrong fields.

We’re promised work, but in some way the kind of work needed isn’t being communicated.

That’s among the many challenges that the BC Liberals are saying they’re going to look to tackle throughout the fall.

LNG will be the behind-the-scenes headliner for government ministries as they seek to figure out a tax scheme for the projects, as well as figuring out skills training.

That process will include information gathering on what jobs will be needed by all major projects to the end of the decade, or beyond.

Of course it may have been nice if the labour question at least could have been answered earlier than the fall, the season new students begin their studies and embark on their wonderful academic


Not to say there may not be jobs for English majors after graduation (it worked for me) but if the labour demands could be spelled out plainly, those looking for the best training for future employment can make better choices.

Otherwise we’ll just have to wait until enrollment next fall. And that’s one more year behind.

Cameron Orr

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