First off, the Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee would like to offer a giant thank you to the Gabriola and Nanaimo ship and shore crews who so consistently go above and beyond to keep our boats running. You are all so appreciated.
The FAC has received the following message from BC Ferries regarding their current crewing and hiring situation.
A dedicated recruiting team have been working tirelessly to bring the right people into the right roles at BC Ferries. They have been seeking qualified people to fill open positions, and to foster relationships with other potential candidates who may be suitable hires in the future.
Since January, we’ve hired more than 850 people – about 500 of those are seasonal and/or casual employees. In spite of these additions we still have approximately 160 ship based vacancies to fill. These key vacancies have been and are the ones with the most impact on our ability to sail.
Currently, the number of qualified licensed mariners in senior categories being hired is similar to the number of retirements.
We have recently introduced new signing and retention payment policies of up to $10,000 to focus on filling key ship based roles for eligible workers, including:
- referral payments
- new employee signing payments
- incentives for new and returning seasonal employees, as well as guaranteed hours of work over the peak summer season
- payments for former employees who return to work
- retention payment for employees who had indicated their intention to retire and remain working longer.
While fortunately our route seems to have largely recovered from the serious crewing shortage we experienced earlier this year, this is a good reminder that the personnel margins are slim, and that the most important asset of our ferry service (or any service) is the people who show up day in and day out to keep things moving.