Unemployment in Greater Victoria rose 4.6 per cent in April, but that doesn’t mean job seekers in Sooke should lose hope. Local supports such as WorkLink and the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce are valuable resources for job seekers and employers. (File - Sooke News Mirror)

Local resources offer support for Sooke job seekers, employers

Employment in Greater Victoria on the rise in April

The job and business market is unpredictable in Greater Victoria, but Sooke still has employment opportunities up for grabs, and local businesses are pushing through.

The unemployment rate in Victoria’s Census Metropolitan Area rose to 7.2 per cent in April, up 4.6 per cent from March as the Canadian labor market experienced the shock of the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

By way of background, Victoria’s CMA recorded an unemployment rate of 3.4 per cent in February. British Columbia’s unemployment rose 11.5 per cent in April, an increase of 4.3 per cent.

However, these intimidating statistics don’t necessarily mean jobless residents should lose hope for finding work, as there are still options available, and resources such as WorkLink in Sooke are open to help.

Some positions listed on Indeed in Sooke include childcare providers, shelter support staff, retail personnel, construction workers, servers, boat fabricators, housekeeping personnel, a correctional officer, delivery driver, parks and environmental services coordinator, administrative roles, cook positions and more.

If you need a little extra guidance or support with finding a job, reaching out to WorkLink and WorkBC Centres may be helpful.

WorkLink in Sooke continues to provide employment services to clients, virtually and in-person by appointment.

The Sooke office is physical distancing, and a limited number of people are in the facility at any given time. For more information or to book an appointment with WorkLink, please call 250-642-3685.

To view postings on the Sooke WorkLink job board, please visit worklink.bc.ca/job-board/.

Sooke is home to many small businesses who have been weathering the coronavirus storm, and the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce can be a valuable resource for business owners looking for support.

Karen Mason, the chamber’s president, said the chamber’s website helps connect business owners to resources such as employee benefits, economic development and tourism, government assistance for businesses, as well as B.C. and Canadian Chamber of Commerce resources.

In April, the chamber, in collaboration with Webmax Marketing, launched BetterBuySooke.ca, which is an online shopping hub for local businesses.

BetterBuySooke.ca acts as a platform for business owners to market themselves and interact with customers, which has been extremely helpful for businesses that have had to close their physical doors during the pandemic. More than 65 companies signed up for BetterBuySooke.ca, and the shopping platform will continue as long as necessary.

Mason said the importance of shopping local and supporting Sooke’s businesses throughout these challenging times.

“You need a vibrant business community for the community as a whole to survive,” Mason said.

RELATED: Sooke Chamber of Commerce’s shop local initiative to help small business and community

ALSO READ: Purchasers Preview Night offers a first glance into this year’s Sooke Fine Art Show

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