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FPAC to launch recruitment campaign

After a decade of downsizing, Canada's forestry sector is gearing for a recruitment drive to attract young workers during an industry upswing.


February 4, 2013
By The Globe and Mail

A new website for the hiring campaign, TheGreenestWorkforce.ca, will be launched Monday night. David Lindsay, president of the Forest Products Association of Canada, will formally kick off the campaign by delivering the keynote speech on Wednesday in Montreal to the PaperWeek Canada conference and job fair.

Companies that sell lumber, pulp and paper are clamouring for the attention of applicants who would otherwise be drawn to the higher pay offered in the energy sector. Part of their sales pitch is a belief that working in sawmills and other rural forestry sites means a better work-life balance than toiling in the oil patch.

“We’re trying to connect with the next generation as they think about a career path,” Mr. Lindsay said in an interview with the Globe and Mail.

Mr. Lindsay said the forestry sector offers decent wages, $40 an hour or more for certain skilled trades. Forestry jobs will appeal to youth who want to work close to where they live, in contrast to many energy jobs that require staff to fly into and out of the oil sands in northern Alberta for weeks at a time, he added.

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“We’re in a competition for talent, but it’s not just competition based on cash remuneration alone,” Mr. Lindsay said. “Some of the people who went to the oil patch made good coin, but they decided after some period of time that it wasn’t the quality of life that they wanted.

“In forestry, you can go home at night, you can fish or skate on the lake and enjoy the outdoors.”

Under an internship contest on the new website, forestry applicants will be encouraged to upload videos to YouTube. The top five job-seekers (as measured by number of votes) in each of the eight paid internship openings will be guaranteed an interview. Of the eight forestry interns who land jobs, one will win a $5,000 cash prize, but all of them will receive iPad minis.

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