Career opportunities with the PEI Public Service
by Heidi Riley
Part of the PEI Public Service Commission (PSC)’s mandate includes providing staffing services to various government departments and Health PEI. The role of the staffing consultant is to lead the screening, interviewing, testing (for some positions) and referencing of qualified candidates.
“There are jobs available in positions such as Administrative Support, Clerical, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable, Service Workers, Heavy-duty Mechanics, Youth Workers, Correctional Officers, Social Workers, and Engineers,” says Janet Horne, Bilingual Recruitment Coordinator with the PSC.
“One of the main areas where we are targeting recruitment efforts right now is the Department of Social Development and Housing for positions such as Social Support Coordinators, who require education in social sciences. Social Workers and Youth Workers are also in demand.”
Health PEI has a significant need for Social Workers, Service Workers, Cooks, Resident Care Workers, Registered Nurses, LPNs, Medical Secretaries, and Administrative and Clerical positions. There are also numerous opportunities for students who are looking for summer employment.
Positions can be casual, part-time, full-time, permanent, or contract. “You may not start off in a permanent position right away, but temporary or casual positions are a great way to network and gain experience,” says Andrew McCarville, Staffing Consultant with the PSC.
“Getting an entry-level position with the public service will allow you to gain experience that you could use to apply for other opportunities. The casual employment list is a great way to get your foot in the door.” To apply for a casual list, visit the Jobs PEI website.
Benefits of working for the provincial government
“The work is meaningful, and people enjoy the work they do along with getting great satisfaction from it,” says Janet. “Benefits include competitive wages, and a benefits package for permanent employees which includes health and dental insurance, and pension.
“It’s an exciting time to work for PEI’s public service, and there are many opportunities for advancement. Whether it be through the opening of positions due to retirement, or positions that are available due to natural progression, there are all kinds of opportunities for our existing employees and future recruits.
“Progression is always encouraged in the Civil Service. However, progression doesn’t always have to be linear. For example, someone may start in HR and move on to a manager in a specialized field, or vice versa. Personal and professional growth is at the core of our workforce.
“We solidify this by offering all kinds of development opportunities. Within government departments, Training and Development Funds are available for permanent staff to take college or university courses relevant to their position. A wide variety of courses are also offered internally as well through our Pathways to Learning for all employees.”
Keeping an open mind
“Sometimes there won’t be an opening for your field of choice, but as with any organization it never hurts to get your foot in the door,” says Janet. “If there is not a job available in your field, look at applying for a casual list or try something new that meets your qualifications.
“As you start your job and begin to network, you may end up finding a whole new area of interest. Perhaps your route will not be direct, and you will need to veer off a bit and try something different, and you may surprise yourself and love it.”
Janet says she is a perfect example. “I was not accepted into the BEd program, so I kept an open mind and applied with the Public Service, and I have never looked back. I went in a different direction, and I love my job.”
Andrew tells the story of a student who was a manager of a retail company and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration. “She applied to Health PEI on a whim, started off in inventory control, and now is working as a finance clerk. There are so many options and avenues.”
How to apply
To check all employment opportunities, visit www.jobspei.ca Click Job Opportunities and then on External Competitions to find open positions or the opportunity to be apply to the casual list. “Jobs are posted almost every day, so check back frequently,” says Andrew.
To register and set up a job account, click How to Apply and follow the links to fill in the required contact information, work experience, training, and education.
“Your information will be saved, so you don’t have to repeat the process as you apply for multiple positions,” says Janet.
“When you apply for a position, make sure your application is received by the deadline specified on the job ad.”
“After we receive your application, a staffing consultant will screen it to see if you meet the qualifications that fit the position,” says Andrew. If you are invited to an interview, bring along the names and contact information of references, who could be previous employers or supervisors. For students with limited work experience, it could be professors or instructors. It is a good idea to let your references know that they may be contacted, so that they are prepared to speak about you.
“Sometimes people don’t give themselves enough credit for the education or experience they have,” says Andrew. “Customer service experience and volunteering is really important. It shows you have dealt with lots of different people in sometimes very difficult situations and that is a skill you can use in many jobs.”
If you have any questions about a job ad or need technical assistance to complete registration or an application, call the general enquiries number at 902-368-4080. Explain which job you are interested in, and you will be directed to the staffing consultant in charge of that job. “We may know about other opportunities that will match your qualifications because we don’t want to lose you.”
Help from UPEI
UPEI students or former students can visit the Experiential Education department to get help in preparing a resumé, cover letter, job application and job interviews.
“For those with limited job experience, the great skills you learn through working on school projects, coursework, and volunteering are an asset,” says Jenna Gaudet, from the UPEI Experiential Education. “We can help you write about your skills on your resumé, so don’t be discouraged.”
Visit www.upei.ca/exed/students to check drop-in hours and to make an appointment for a one-on-one meeting with a career counsellor.
Help from other Career Development Professionals across the Island
Job seekers can get the help they need to apply for government positions from Career Development Professionals who work at employment services agencies across the Island.
For a list of employment service agencies, visit www.employmentjourney.com/resources-services-for-job-seekers/