Nova Scotia

CBRM faces job vacancies with hundreds of retirements looming

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality and its youth council hope to encourage young people to investigate career opportunities as scores of municipal workers reach retirement age.

Job vacancies anticipated in all departments over the next 5 years

Up to 400 workers with Cape Breton Regional Municipality will reach retirement age over the next five years. (Robert Doublett/CBC)

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality will be looking to fill jobs as hundreds of workers reach retirement age over the next five years.

CBRM and its youth council have released a career forecast document outlining job opportunities, to encourage young people to investigate the training and/or education they might need to replace those retiring municipal employees.

"Half of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality workforce of about 800 employees will be aged 55 plus over the next five years," reads the forecast.

"Many retirements and new hirings are expected."

Not a 'mass exodus'

The municipality wants to be ready to replace people, as needed, when retirements come along, said Deanna Best of CBRM's human resources department.

"Just because we have employees at that age, with that particular combination of years of service and age, I'm not anticipating a mass exodus by any stretch. But there are certainly a number that could go."

Cape Breton Regional Municipality is hoping that upcoming job vacancies will help keep young people in the area. (Robert Doublett/CBC)

Best said the career forecast encourages job seekers, especially young people, to consider a career with CBRM.

"The message here is that we are trying to be proactive with our recruitment, to get the information out there that we will be looking for some hirings over the next number of years and to get people in the municipality
ready for that and to get them excited that there may be some opportunities coming up down the road."

Hoping to interest young people

Some likely openings will be in police and fire service, management and administration and public works.

CBRM saw 28 retirements in 2017 alone.

"Within the [civic centre] itself, there are many internal job postings, and as employees move throughout the organization, it creates vacancies in certain areas that require an external job posting," Best said.

"We have a link on our website for any external job postings. Social media is a big promoter for us. We've certainly gone more that route versus the paper route although we still advertise locally," she said.

Best said it's hoped that as retirements take effect, young people who might otherwise leave Cape Breton for work will reconsider.

"The big message is we would like people to stay local," she said. "We want people to be able to say that they live here they work here, they've raised their families here.

"We encourage people to explore opportunities with the municipality." 

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