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Where Laid-Off Target Workers Might Land

If you think you’ve had a crappy start to the year, imagine being among the 17,600 souls who learned their days at their retail job were numbered when Target declared its Canadian experiment a failure.

But even these folks should take heart. There are jobs to be had out there for them that knows where to find them.


Here’s a tip sheet on what to consider.

  • Sears Canada. Struggling though it might be itself, this fellow retailer invited its competitors’ erstwhile employees to apply for jobs at its stores soon after the layoff announcement was made. Sears Canada has also extended its employee discounts to Target staffers.
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Canadian chapter. Becoming a longshore worker, where the median salary is $70,720, isn’t as tricky as you might think. No college or university education is required as the training primarily takes place on the job. Still, you’ll be expected to start out on a part-time basis.
  • Quality Assurance Officer. When Wanted Analytics produced a list of the most sought-after skills among Canadian employers late last year, those individuals with quality assurance skills — possibly polished on the retail floor — ranked near the top.
  • Line Cook. Similarly, the research uncovered a need for people with a talent for food preparation. If you like putting things together in the kitchen, there’s no shortage of opportunity for you.
  • Hotel Maid. When Canadian Business compiled its “Best Jobs 2014” list, it singled employment in the hospitality sector among the most in-demand jobs. That means from housekeeping to concierge work to foodservice, these are among the most numerous postings in the current crop of want ads.
  • Truck Driver. Workopolis consulted its list of those job openings that are most consistently advertised and truck driver topped the list. With at least a G-class driver’s license and some on-the-job training, you’ll be good to go.

The results of the year-end Randstad Canada Workmonitor study (which said 47 percent of Canadians feel the economy will slide backward in 2015) notwithstanding, Randstad Canada president Tom Turpin feels there’s reason for hope for the freshly unemployed.

“With a New Year comes new opportunities,” he said, in conjunction with his report’s release. “We’ve read this story before, oil slides down and the market retracts, but in a few months the market will have corrected and companies that have been impacted will be hiring again.”

Derek Szeto, a founder of, certainly thinks so. He has developed an app called Wirkn that aims to connect local retail and service sector workers to local employers. Wirkn, says Szeto, is better suited for this population of part-timers and retail service workers, than LinkedIn.

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