KES helps to determine employment needs

Web Lead

In class at Kootenay Employment Sevices.

For some, finding employment is a significant life event. It can mark the transition from youth to adulthood and independence. It can also give a sense of accomplishment and connection to the community. There are various forms of employment, such as working for a company or owning your own business. But for some, it’s not always easy. A stay-at-home mom might need to find work but she lacks work experience and skills, an older worker needs to rejoin the workforce or a business needs more staff but can’t hire anyone until they start generating more profit. Regardless, every person and every business has its own specific employment needs. Kootenay Employment Services (KES) has many resources to assist employers and job seekers to overcome these obstacles.


Job board: KES offers free advertising for employment positions on the job board. Positions are posted from newspapers, bulletins and through KES. All jobs posted through KES are on our website, Facebook and Twitter. In February, our website alone had almost 9,000 page views from people in the Kootenays, Okanagan, the Lower Mainland, Alberta and other parts of Canada and the U.S.

Wage subsidies: Many people graduating from our employment programs are eligible for a 50-100 per cent subsidy for four-10 weeks. Also, some people who have been on EI in the past three years are eligible for a significantly longer subsidy. By supporting training costs there is a decreasing financial strain on businesses.

Youth and student grants: Provincial and federal programs provide financial incentives and wage subsidies for businesses to hire youth and students. Depending on the program, employers could receive up to $3,000 for wages and training or a subsidy of $7-8 an hour for high school and post-secondary students.

Job Seekers

Counselling: If you’re unsure of what your employment goals are or how to start your job search, employment counsellors are available to help. Counselling can range from career assessments to providing cover letter and resume assistance. Counsellors can provide valuable labour market information to help you determine which fields are growing.

Short-term training: Funding options are available for those who are unemployed (or in some cases underemployed) and would like to complete short-term training, such as first aid/CPR, Food Safe or World Host. Options are also available for those wanting to upgrade their high school.

EI-attached individuals: EI attachment means you’re currently on EI or have been in the last three years (or five years for maternity). For those who are eligible, the federal government has a program that can cover training costs and provide supports while attending post-secondary school. Job seekers may be eligible for a wage subsidy that covers about 50 per cent of wages for the duration of training at a new job.

Non-EI-attached individuals: KES offers various employment programs for adults, women and older workers. Participants are paid for attendance and can obtain short-term certificate training. Participants learn valuable employment, life and computer skills and each of these programs offers a wage subsidy after completion. The next intake for these programs is the beginning of April.

Persons with disabilities/barriers: For those struggling with a disability or barriers, KES has programs that can assist with supports, training and finding employment or volunteer opportunities in the community.

Self-employment: A 12-week employment program exists for older workers who are interested in opening a business. Participants are provided in-depth training and paid for attendance.

Youth: KES has a specialized program that consists of five weeks of paid in-classroom training and 10 weeks of paid placement. Youth learn numerous life and employment skills and are also given a chance to obtain short-term certificates. Intake is in late fall.

Don’t hesitate — call Kootenay Employment Services at 250-428-5655 or visit to learn more about our programs and how we can help you reach your employment goals.


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