A million job openings

Work BC anticipates that more than one million job openings will arise in the province during the current decade.

Work BC anticipates that more than one million job openings will arise in the province during the current decade.

In its report, BC Labour Market Outlook 2010-2020, the agency estimates one-third of the new openings will come from economic growth, while two thirds will be the result of the aging labour pool and the demand created by retiring workers.

It’s estimated that by 2016, there will be more job openings in the province than there are workers available to fill them.  Approximately 78 per cent of these are expected to require some post-secondary education and training, with most positions projected in the technical, paraprofessional and skilled occupations.

Not surprisingly, health occupations are expected to be at the forefront of this growing job market, with an average annual growth rate of 2.4 per cent.

Not only are retiring health-care workers creating job vacancies, but also, the aging general population is creating an increased demand for the number of health-care workers needed overall.

This undisputed need for more caregivers in B.C. has been the focus of concern and action for seniors, senior care facilities, government agencies, and education providers.

Colleges and universities throughout the province offer training programs designed to prepare students for the varied positions on the rise in the healthcare field.

Here in the Comox Valley, where clearing has begun on the site of a new 153-bed hospital, Excel Career College has responded to the growing need by strengthening health-care programming.

“The writing was on the wall; we had to step up our training of health-care assistants,” says senior education administrator Mary Stephenson.

“Often, the personal qualities of an ideal candidate for health-care work are at odds with traditional text-based learning programs.  What we’ve been able to do is make program adjustments, which maximize individuals’ learning strengths.

“Specifically, we’ve added readily available oral examinations, additional study groups and diverse supplementary learning materials. These relatively minor changes have made the program more user-friendly for every learner and have made a career in the healthcare field more widely accessible.”

Graduates of the College’s Healthcare Assistant Diploma Program are qualified and confident in their abilities to work with in-home care services, intermediate and residential care facilities, as well as in hospital extended care units.

The work of a health-care provider can be demanding, and it requires a dedication of care and compassion for the people it serves. Those considering a career in health care are highly encouraged to speak with an advisor at their institute to ensure this career is a good fit for them.

— Excel Career college