Penticton company sees job fairs as effective recruiting tool

Britco one of the employers to take part in the B.C. Jobs Start Here fair Wednesday at Okanagan College in Penticton

Chazz McCaig

Chazz McCaig

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With a workforce numbering in the hundreds, Britco is regularly on the hunt for employees and the company has found job fairs to be an effective way to recruit needed staff.

So it was no surprise representatives of the local manufacturing plant were front and centre at this week’s B.C. Jobs Start Here fair, Wednesday at the local campus of Okanagan College.

“I think it went really well, it was pretty steady all day long,” said Julie Read, the company’s human resources generalist at the Penticton manufacturing plant. “We received some really good resumes and had chats with a lot of students who were looking for more of the trades type work, carpentry, plumbing and electrical. They wanted to know what we were looking for and how to apply.

“Job fairs are good because, if nothing else, it gets our name out there and even if we only get a handful of potential candidates out of it, it’s nice to be seen in the community so when people are looking for work, they know that we are here.”

Britco, which manufactures a variety of modular structures for residential and business use throughout North America, was one of about 20 employers, post-secondary institutions, industry associations, training and health authorities involved in the afternoon showcase at the college’s Centre of Excellence demonstration lab.

Penticton was one of 24 communities in the province the mobile exhibit will be visiting to create opportunities for job seekers and potential employees to meet face to face.

Information was also available about skills training, employment services, job banks and career development tools.

The government estimates in the next 10 years there will be over one million job openings in the province, including 350,000 new employment opportunities.

“Across B.C., new investment has been creating new jobs so the demand for skilled employees is strong and will only get stronger,” said Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and skills training. “The B.C. Jobs Start Here job fairs are helping employers find the right person for the right job.”

According to Read, Britco’s Penticton location alone will be adding between 30 and 40 new positions to its employment roster in the new year.

“It can be hard to find that many people because a lot of them like to go up north where the money is, and come summertime that’s when a lot of the other jobs pick up and they like to be outside and come back for the contract jobs, but it’s not long term, so it can be difficult sometimes, ” she said. “Overall, I think the fair here was done quite well. We actually found the one in Penticton was a lot better for us than the one in Kelowna, we had a lot more interest from the people here.”


Other participants at the fair included the B.C. Dragoons unit of the Armed Forces, the Centre for Arts and Technology, the non-profit Good Samaritan Society, Sprott Shaw College, Tim Hortons and Investors Group Financial.