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Fernie Chamber of Commerce to host Labour Shortage Panel

Fernie’s Chamber of Commerce will host a virtual panel discussion on the topic of the local workforce and labour shortages.

The Chamber said the panel will be made up of representatives from local, regional and provincial organizations who work in employment services, human resources, workforce attraction, and immigration fields.

“We consistently hear from our local business community about the challenges of attracting and retaining staff – especially outside of the winter ski season months”, said Brad Parsell, Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber. “High staff turnover and vacant positions because of labour shortages are extremely costly and disruptive to businesses. Without a stable workforce that can power our business growth and expansion, it can become extremely challenging to do business in our area. This is exacerbated by other issues like the relatively higher cost of living in Fernie and lack of affordable childcare options.”

According to the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, its Business Pulse Check survey sent out in March showed that 45% of respondents said they had at least one job vacancy.

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In April, all of B.C. felt a decline in employment, according to the most recent Labour Force Survey.

“The Labour Force Survey for the month of April showed B.C. lost 43,000 jobs as the impacts of the provincial health officer’s temporary orders were felt by businesses and workers,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economy Recovery and Innovation. “The vast majority of the job losses last month were part-time and in accommodation and food services, as well as information, culture and recreation.”

The panel will be broadcast live on the Chamber’s Facebook page and on Zoom on Wednesday, May 12th from noon to 1:30 p.m.

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