Sum­mer jobs avail­able on GNP but stu­dent em­ploy­ees hard to find

Tourism op­er­a­tors say it’s an in­creas­ing strug­gle to find sum­mer help

Northern Pen - - Front page - KYLE GREENHAM kyle.greenham@north­ern­pen.ca

For some tourist av­enues of the Great North­ern Penin­sula, hir­ing sum­mer stu­dents is a grow­ing strug­gle.

Iris Decker of Ship Cove of­ten had lit­tle trou­ble hir­ing a stu­dent to guide vis­i­tors and tourists at the out­port’s mu­seum and pop­u­lar hik­ing trails each sum­mer. But in the sum­mers of 2016 and 2017 Decker says she was not able to find a stu­dent.

“I’ve been very suc­cess­ful un­til th­ese last few years. I ad­ver­tised and put it on the bul­letin boards, but I could not find a stu­dent for two years in a row,” Decker said. “Here in Ship Cove, there’s not a young per­son. If there was, be­lieve me, they’d be work­ing.”

Decker says it’s too bad the is­sue has per­sisted, given the work that was put into Ship Cove’s mu­seum and the his­tory of the com­mu­nity dis­played in­side.

“The mu­seum has a lot of in­ter­est­ing things peo­ple would ap­pre­ci­ate, es­pe­cially those who are away from home and come back dur­ing the sum­mer,” she said. “It would ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity to have the mu­seum opened and to tell vis­i­tors about our beau­ti­ful trails and our com­mu­nity.” Decker is cur­rently vis­it­ing fam­ily in Nova Sco­tia, but is hope­ful that when she re­turns to Ship Cove in June she will still be able to find and hire a stu­dent this sum­mer.

Need for a new stu­dent Noah Smith runs the mu­seum and his­tor­i­cal site in Raleigh, lo­cated in the for­mer Angli­can school.

Smith hires one stu­dent each sum­mer for the mu­seum. But this year, the re­turn­ing stu­dent he usu­ally hires has gone to univer­sity and Smith is now hop­ing to find a new hire this sum­mer.

“I was lucky to have that one stu­dent be­cause it’s im­por­tant we have a stu­dent that’s talk­a­tive and out­go­ing,” said Smith. “Within the next cou­ple weeks I’m hop­ing to find a stu­dent for the his­tor­i­cal site.”

Smith says since Raleigh no longer has the funds for tour guides to Burnt Cape, the town’s tourist sea­son has lost much of its vis­i­tors. The Burnt Cape eco­log­i­cal re­serve, which can be seen from the wharf at Raleigh’s his­toric vil­lage, is renowned for its unique plant life.

“When that cut was made to the guided tours of Burnt Cape, we lost 60-70 per cent of vis­i­tors, maybe even more than that,” said Smith. “It’s too bad for the stu­dents we hire, be­cause they want to be chal­lenged too. They just don’t want to be wait­ing and wait­ing for peo­ple to show up.”

Smith hopes the gov­ern­ment fund­ing for guided tours to Burnt Cape can even­tu­ally be re­in­stated.

Still, there are sev­eral fac­tors with the tourist sea­son in Raleigh this sum­mer that Smith hopes will bring a boost to the com­mu­nity’s vis­i­tors. With a new crafts busi­ness and cab­ins in town, Raleigh’s Po­lar Bear Dip in June, and a Smith fam­ily re­union, Smith says this year may be a bet­ter show­ing for tourism.

‘It’s ben­e­fi­cial for us

and for them’ Al­though she has hired six stu­dents so far this sea­son, man­ager at the Gren­fell In­ter­pre­ta­tion Cen­tre Cyn­thia Ran­dell says over­all it is get­ting tougher to find stu­dents will­ing to come home and work at the cen­tre.

“It’s get­ting harder to fill th­ese po­si­tions, be­cause of a lot th­ese stu­dents when they go away for school they don’t come back,” said Ran­dell. “The last cou­ple years have been good, but one year be­fore that we were right down to the crunch to get our vol­un­teers.”

Ran­dell prefers to hire stu­dents in post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion, but in re­cent years she’s reached out to more high school stu­dents to en­sure she has enough work­ers for the sum­mer. Ran­dell says de­spite the strug­gle of less stu­dents re­turn­ing home for the sum­mer, she’s re­ceived more calls in re­cent sum­mers di­rectly from stu­dents who want to get in­volved.

“It gives stu­dents a great ex­pe­ri­ence, learn­ing the his­tory of Dr. Gren­fell and this area and work­ing with the pub­lic,” she said. “It’s ben­e­fi­cial for us and for them.”

“Here in Ship Cove, there’s not a young per­son. If there was, be­lieve me, they’d be work­ing.”

- Iris Decker

Cyn­thia Ran­dell, man­ager at the Gren­fell In­ter­pre­ta­tion Cen­tre, says over­all it is get­ting tougher to fill sum­mer job po­si­tions at the cen­tre. While she prefers to higher post-sec­ondary stu­dents, she has been hir­ing more high school stu­dents in re­cent...

KYLE GREENHAM /THE NORTH­ERN PEN PHO­TOS

Up un­til re­cent years, Iris Decker says hir­ing a stu­dent to work at the Ship Cove mu­seum each sum­mer wasn’t a strug­gle. But for the past two sum­mers, Decker hasn’t been able to find a stu­dent to guide at the mu­seum and tell vis­i­tors about the town’s...

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