Left out in the cold

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The about-to-be-unemployed Sykes’ call centre workers will be getting some “employment support” from the provincial government.

Kevin O’Brien, minister of Advanced Education and Skills, was quick to offer help to the 94 workers at the Corner Brook operation in the form of retraining or new employment opportunities.

That must be comforting to the workers who will be thrown out of permanent work, but no amount of government assistance will likely make much difference for many of them who want to continue living in this part of the province.

Truth is, unemployment rates in this region are well above the rest of the country and even parts of this province.

The laid-off workers will almost certainly can have their choice of jobs in the retail or service industry.

They can quickly pick up jobs ringing up purchases, pouring coffee or serving pizza or hamburgers.

If workers want more than that, sadly, they will have to seriously consider relocation after going back to school.

The retraining offered by the province will help those who want to upgrade their skills or acquire new ones, but those who go that route must be prepared to use those new skills elsewhere.

Lasting work opportunities these days are far from home and Sykes’ workers will have to travel or uproot their lives like many other thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who want well-paying jobs and comfortable lifestyles, which every Canadian deserves.

Like all workers who find themselves caught up in this kind of situation, they have some gut-wrenching choices to make.

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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