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Unskilled work - Calgary

Unskilled work - Calgary

Old Oct 9th 2018, 9:16 am
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Default Unskilled work - Calgary

Hi all,

So we've pretty much decided upon Calgary to be our chosen destination. My current employment is with autistic adults with additional mental health/learning disabilities, as a support worker. It seems over there, I need to have some kind of Diploma to get back into this field, whereas here, I need nothing.

So, without having a spare $12,000 knocking around at the present time to factor in going back to education once we land, what are my realistic options for unskilled work over there? I've looked on Indeed and it would seem basic retail is likely option, though even some of those want a high school diploma, which I don't have. I'm going to assume I'm overlooking a large quantity of jobs, so any suggestions please let me know, so at least I can better prepare myself for what may be to come lol.

I am also after some ideas and/or feedback on how I could potentially continue my current career path, without having to fork out a small fortune to do so.
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Old Oct 9th 2018, 10:07 am
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

I don't know about legislation/qualifications requirements for that sort of work in Alberta, but in BC I was a director with TCS (www.tcsinfo.ca), and experience and relevant background checks were the only requirements for support workers, no additional diploma necessary - see some example job descriptions here: https://www.tcsinfo.ca/careers.htm
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Old Oct 9th 2018, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

https://ca.indeed.com/Community-Disa...obs-in-Alberta
https://www.simplyhired.ca/search?q=...z56TSXzk-KofXw

Look at Community Disability Support Worker or Community Service Worker or Personal Support Worker or Community Support Worker

You might want to have a look through this - for disability support workers, a new association (Not a governing body as yet - the requirements for ADWA certification isn't compulsary but doesn't appear too onerous to get, if you can get references from the UK, perhaps) https://www.adwa.ca/certification/faqs.html

It looks like you can get a 'diploma / certificate' for disability support worker in 6-10 months and it appears tit can cost under $7k - there was one that was 17 weeks! There's links to some colleges that do it here: https://www.adwa.ca/career-resources...providers.html (but do look at the ALIS link below) and this one has part of the course available online Health Care Aide (HCA) | Excel Academy

More details: https://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/educ...-7238fe2e0716/ (includes course details and costs - there's a list of the different colleges on the left hand side - and be aware, they charge different amounts!)

DO check whether there is compulsory registration / licensing / certification for this job - https://www.albertacanada.com/opport...r-country.aspx and https://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/cert...ns-in-alberta/

Last edited by Siouxie; Oct 9th 2018 at 2:55 pm.
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Old Oct 9th 2018, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

The employment market in Calgary is still tough, I have a friend who had 2 interviews for a seasonal waitress position. Pretty ridiculous!
It took me 6 months to get a job, I have a MSc, BSc, ND and over 10 years working as an engineer. I was out Mon to Fri 8 am to 6 pm literally hand delivering my resume, going to jobs fairs, networking events trying to make contacts in recruitment and engineering, going to immigrant services places. It drove me insane, I've never been out of work for so long and I've never working so hard just to try and get a job. In the evenings I'd apply online and try to make linkedin contacts. It was a demoralizing and extremely frustrating time but persistence paid off and I managed to get work. Be prepared for difficultly, but in my opinion it is worth the struggle. I don't want to sound too negative, but I want you to understand it is difficult to begin with but I do think it is worth the struggle.

If I were you I'd formulate a plan to increase your income, if you're moving to Calgary and working minimum wages jobs I'd question if you'd see a quality of life increase. I love it here in Calgary, but I know working a minimum wage job would put severe limitations on my life which would make me question the value of a move.

There's a trend in Calgary and I'm sure the rest of Canada that everything needs a diploma, down town Calgary has a bar staff school for a diploma in working behind a bar. I'd get the money together to get your diploma whilst still in the UK and then go straight for that when you arrive. There are many immigrant services in Calgary, some offer grants for courses too, take advantage of these services.

Good luck with the move.
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Old Oct 9th 2018, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

It's a requirement to have a liquor servers license in most Provinces - for Alberta it's ProServe. You can do it online https://proserve.aglc.ca/Index.aspx?tabid=13&sc=ASIPOL
AGLC policy requires liquor and gaming industry workers to have the certification(s) required for their position(s) within 30 days of their employment start date or before their current certificate expires. Special event workers who require ProServe certification must be certified before the special event.

Agree that Canada is the land where they like certification / diploma / bits of useless paper before doing most jobs! I hear you on the frustration levels.. I applied for over 200 jobs a year without success before ending up working online for a Social Media agency!
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Old Oct 9th 2018, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Originally Posted by Shakyuk View Post
The employment market in Calgary is still tough, I have a friend who had 2 interviews for a seasonal waitress position. Pretty ridiculous!
It took me 6 months to get a job, I have a MSc, BSc, ND and over 10 years working as an engineer. I was out Mon to Fri 8 am to 6 pm literally hand delivering my resume, going to jobs fairs, networking events trying to make contacts in recruitment and engineering, going to immigrant services places. It drove me insane, I've never been out of work for so long and I've never working so hard just to try and get a job. In the evenings I'd apply online and try to make linkedin contacts. It was a demoralizing and extremely frustrating time but persistence paid off and I managed to get work. Be prepared for difficultly, but in my opinion it is worth the struggle. I don't want to sound too negative, but I want you to understand it is difficult to begin with but I do think it is worth the struggle.

If I were you I'd formulate a plan to increase your income, if you're moving to Calgary and working minimum wages jobs I'd question if you'd see a quality of life increase. I love it here in Calgary, but I know working a minimum wage job would put severe limitations on my life which would make me question the value of a move.

There's a trend in Calgary and I'm sure the rest of Canada that everything needs a diploma, down town Calgary has a bar staff school for a diploma in working behind a bar. I'd get the money together to get your diploma whilst still in the UK and then go straight for that when you arrive. There are many immigrant services in Calgary, some offer grants for courses too, take advantage of these services.

Good luck with the move.

Canada loves their diplomas...lol

Calgary job market sounds the opposite of Vancouver.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Thanks all for the replies.

@ Rich - Good to know that experience still counts for things. I am semi hopeful that despite not having the Diploma that a number of job adverts request, that my resume will still be looked at based on the experience. The Bank of Canada recently sponsored a run for the society I work for in the UK, but nobody I have spoken to is able to shed any info on the connection between the two. I am hopeful that at the minimum, we are recognised in Canada to a degree by companies offering similar services.

@Siouxie - Thankyou for the very informative reply.

@ Shakyuk - There certainly does seem to be a thing in Canada where everything/everyone wants you to have a diploma in something. I feel I will struggle greatly with just the GCSE background, as over there, I didn't even finish high school! At present we probably won't be able to spare $7k when landing to put me in education. We'll have around $20,000 in savings when we land (after all expenses - roughly), but we'll need to use that to survive whilst we don't have employment. My partner will be applying for some from the UK so if by luck she manages to gain employment prior to landing, then off to college i'll go. Her salary should be around $60-70k in theory. She is going to begin networking on LinkedIn in the coming weeks/months now that we have finished the PR process (minus the landing). I was thinking of perhaps doing the same for myself, never know.

Thanks again all.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Originally Posted by jimmynoshoes View Post
Thanks all for the replies.

@ Rich - Good to know that experience still counts for things. I am semi hopeful that despite not having the Diploma that a number of job adverts request, that my resume will still be looked at based on the experience. The Bank of Canada recently sponsored a run for the society I work for in the UK, but nobody I have spoken to is able to shed any info on the connection between the two. I am hopeful that at the minimum, we are recognised in Canada to a degree by companies offering similar services.

@Siouxie - Thankyou for the very informative reply.

@ Shakyuk - There certainly does seem to be a thing in Canada where everything/everyone wants you to have a diploma in something. I feel I will struggle greatly with just the GCSE background, as over there, I didn't even finish high school! At present we probably won't be able to spare $7k when landing to put me in education. We'll have around $20,000 in savings when we land (after all expenses - roughly), but we'll need to use that to survive whilst we don't have employment. My partner will be applying for some from the UK so if by luck she manages to gain employment prior to landing, then off to college i'll go. Her salary should be around $60-70k in theory. She is going to begin networking on LinkedIn in the coming weeks/months now that we have finished the PR process (minus the landing). I was thinking of perhaps doing the same for myself, never know.

Thanks again all.

Very welcome!

Unless your partner is in a niche profession - sought after - it's unlikely that she will have luck applying from overseas. Do have a good read of our various job hunting sections in the Wiki - it will save a lot of stress! Has she checked whether she needs certification / registration for her job as well?
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Categ...Hunting-Canada

Do also check if you would need to have certification/registration for the different / alternative job titles as they are not all regulated, as far as I could see.

I know you really want to get back into your normal career but in the interim, perhaps look at some of the bigger restaurant groups - they nearly always look for food servers / bartenders / barbacks etc., and the tips can be phenomenal. My son worked for The Keg group for quite a few years - when he first came over (in his late 20's) he decided to get a job where ever he could to tide him over, plus helping to make contacts and develop friendships (in Canada, it's who you know more often than what you know!). He told me some of the staff were making more money in tips than he had earned working in a normal office based job full time in the UK at one point! Worth considering.. if you get stuck for work initially and need to earn a fast buck. Don't worry if you have no experience, the Keg like to train their staff in 'their' way of doing things, including having a 'recipe' book for all their drinks. https://www.kegsteakhouse.com/employment/#Postings

There's a LOT of bartender jobs in Calgary, for instance! https://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=bartender&l=Calgary%2C+AB
You can take your bartender certificate online from the UK even.. at least this will give you options when you first come over. British accents can be a bonus when looking for bar/restaurant work (if you would feel more comfortable in a behind the scenes environment, you could take your food handlers safety course online too https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/eph/Page3151.aspx)
Best of luck

Last edited by Siouxie; Oct 10th 2018 at 4:36 pm.
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Old Oct 10th 2018, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Very welcome!

I know you really want to get back into your normal career but in the interim, perhaps look at some of the bigger restaurant groups - they nearly always look for food servers / bartenders / barbacks etc., and the tips can be phenomenal. My son worked for The Keg group for quite a few years - when he first came over (in his late 20's) he decided to get a job where ever he could to tide him over, plus helping to make contacts and develop friendships (in Canada, it's who you know more often than what you know!). He told me some of the staff were making more money in tips than he had earned working in a normal office based job full time in the UK at one point! Worth considering.. if you get stuck for work initially and need to earn a fast buck. Don't worry if you have no experience, the Keg like to train their staff in 'their' way of doing things, including having a 'recipe' book for all their drinks. https://www.kegsteakhouse.com/employment/#Postings

There's a LOT of bartender jobs in Calgary, for instance! https://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=bartender&l=Calgary%2C+AB
You can take your bartender certificate online from the UK even.. at least this will give you options when you first come over. British accents can be a bonus when looking for bar/restaurant work (if you would feel more comfortable in a behind the scenes environment, you could take your food handlers safety course online too https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/eph/Page3151.aspx)
Best of luck

We ate in an Earls restaurant in Jasper last week, another of the up-market restaurant groups .......... they seem to operate the same way as The Keg. OH watched over my shoulder as a supervisor taught a new employee just how to carry a tray of food "the Earl's way"

Son-in-law worked for Subway, one of the cheaper restaurant groups, years ago, and was taught exactly how to dice and cut vegetables for them. A niece also worked for another Subway branch, and made quite a bit of money, even though it is a self-serve non-alcoholic place.
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Old Oct 11th 2018, 9:26 am
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Originally Posted by jimmynoshoes View Post
Thanks all for the replies.

@ Rich - Good to know that experience still counts for things. I am semi hopeful that despite not having the Diploma that a number of job adverts request, that my resume will still be looked at based on the experience. The Bank of Canada recently sponsored a run for the society I work for in the UK, but nobody I have spoken to is able to shed any info on the connection between the two. I am hopeful that at the minimum, we are recognised in Canada to a degree by companies offering similar services.

@Siouxie - Thankyou for the very informative reply.

.
"The Bank of Canada" or the "Royal Bank of Canada"?? The former is the Canadian central bank and it would be surprising if they sponsored anything in the UK, although given their former governor is now governor of the Bank of England, there is a remote possibility. In any case, I don't think such sponsorship has any relevance in job hunting.

Last edited by Shard; Oct 11th 2018 at 9:28 am.
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Old Oct 12th 2018, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

@ Shard - Not sure which one. I have looked on our own website and the picture used has been changed so cannot verify. It was for a fund raising run in London (UK) if I recall. My point was really that I was hoping the society I work for here, would be recognised over there, and thus my experience on the Resume might count for something a bit more.

@ Siouxie and Scilly - Thanks for the advice, will look into these options as well.

What else is viewed as 'unskilled' over there, that doesn't require any kind of certification or piece of paper? I was looking at some retail jobs on indeed and even some of those wanted people with diplomas!

Last edited by jimmynoshoes; Oct 12th 2018 at 11:28 am.
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Old Oct 12th 2018, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

@jimmy - the problem most newcomers have in Canada is something called "lack of Canadian experience"...this can affect people even trying to work in the Canadian version of the job they were experienced in overseas. Probably not good to over-estimate the value of anything you have done in the UK, but you sound young and with good networking and a positive open-minded attitude, you are sure to find something. Don't get hung up on qualifications (especially what you don't have) just be prepared to dive in and take relevant quals for whatever it is you want to do. Even if it's a stepping stone job. Treat your move as a giant reset and be super positive.
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Old Oct 12th 2018, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Originally Posted by jimmynoshoes View Post
@ Shard - Not sure which one. I have looked on our own website and the picture used has been changed so cannot verify. It was for a fund raising run in London (UK) if I recall. My point was really that I was hoping the society I work for here, would be recognised over there, and thus my experience on the Resume might count for something a bit more.

@ Siouxie and Scilly - Thanks for the advice, will look into these options as well.

What else is viewed as 'unskilled' over there, that doesn't require any kind of certification or piece of paper? I was looking at some retail jobs on indeed and even some of those wanted people with diplomas!
As has been mentioned by myself and others, Canada is the land of useless pieces of paper (certificates, diplomas) for just about any job you care to think of.

That's why I suggested you get your Proserve certificate - it's cheap, done in under 20 minutes, you can do it online today and print your certificate - and it opens doors for you!

Do also look at the requirements for those other job titles.

You might be able to get a job as a general laborer in a warehouse, but it wouldn't be pleasant and you would need to be here to apply - pointless even looking for unskilled jobs until you are actually here. Some examples:
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-general-labo...ationFlag=true
https://www.kijiji.ca/o-maxsys/10146...ferral=organic .
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-general-labour-jobs/calgary/general-laborers-warehouse-environment/1390257649?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-general-labo...ker/1375082100
Manpower Agency
or cashier: https://job-openings.monster.ca/cash...ZipRecruiterCA

- and there are some retail positions that don't appear to require diplomas, but most of them want experience.. I'd suggest you look on kijiji as the jobs on there tend to be unskilled - some temporary only - and a quick turnaround (hence why you need to be here).



Last edited by Siouxie; Oct 12th 2018 at 3:58 pm.
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Old Oct 12th 2018, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Originally Posted by jimmynoshoes View Post
Hi all,

So we've pretty much decided upon Calgary to be our chosen destination. My current employment is with autistic adults with additional mental health/learning disabilities, as a support worker. It seems over there, I need to have some kind of Diploma to get back into this field, whereas here, I need nothing.

So, without having a spare $12,000 knocking around at the present time to factor in going back to education once we land, what are my realistic options for unskilled work over there? I've looked on Indeed and it would seem basic retail is likely option, though even some of those want a high school diploma, which I don't have. I'm going to assume I'm overlooking a large quantity of jobs, so any suggestions please let me know, so at least I can better prepare myself for what may be to come lol.

I am also after some ideas and/or feedback on how I could potentially continue my current career path, without having to fork out a small fortune to do so.
I was in your position back in 2001, three years after arriving in Calgary. I found what I thought would be a temporary job with the Calgary Board of Education as a Cleaner. Now what your going to say" Ugh! Cleaner). It is what a lot of Brits do. The new arrivals from the Far East, Africa and Latin America had no such qualms, and came from a wide variety of fields, such as electrical engineers, teachers and medical personnel. They have the same ideal of "it's for the kids", but also realise that it is not much help for the kids if you have no income (also a great benefits package).. Most of them are still with the CBE, having taken advantage of the training and advancement opportunities available (Power Engineer certification, SAIT Business School, BOMA designattion (professional FMP). You could do worse.
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Old Oct 12th 2018, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Unskilled work - Calgary

Look for jobs at Calgary airport for ramp, its outdoor work but the job isn't difficult but there are usually companies hiring, no idea what the pay is in Calgary, Vancouver the pay is in the 13/14-18/hr range depending on the company, (Air Canada pays the least usually but being direct employed by an airline brings more options and benefits so sometimes worth the lower pay.)

There are also grooming companies, possibly de-icing, catering, fueling, all are jobs you need no skills for, just need a drivers license.

Airports have a huge variety of jobs in the unskilled to low skill level.

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