Youth & Education / Recruitment

To promote the tremendous opportunities ahead for the forest sector, we are involved in activities to attract new employees and encourage students to pursue disciplines related to the company’s core business. In 2016, we attended approximately 60 career fair events, including First Nations job/career fairs. Our executives and other company representatives met regularly with students from post-secondary institutions to discuss the many career options available with Canfor and Canfor Pulp. Canfor Pulp has produced a Pulp 101 video that is being used to introduce the company at recruitment activities.

For the second year in a row, Canfor Pulp received the Industry Training Authority’s 2016 Appreciation Award for our efforts to support the growth of BC’s skilled workforce. Working closely with the Prince George school board and the local Career Technical Centre (CTC), we provided 240 hours of experience for 11 Grade 12 students who worked as apprentices in electrical, heavy duty or millwright trades areas. We also partnered once again with Finning and the CTC so five students could work on our fleet of heavy duty machines alongside Finning technicians.

Employees representing sales, transportation, pulp, supply chain and marketing introduced Canfor to prospective co-op applicants at the UBC Faculty of Forestry Co-op Presentation event in September. Eight of the 11 employees at the event are graduates of the UBC co-op program.

Through our continued partnership with New Relationship Trust Foundation, which was signed in 2012, we were able to provide a number of scholarships and bursaries to First Nations students. We also participated in the New Relationship Trust’s 10th National Young Entrepreneurs Symposium (YES) in Toronto, where 200 Aboriginal youth met with business leaders and role models to foster the skills, knowledge and networks they need to be the business leaders of tomorrow. We made a presentation on our opportunities and workplace culture at an Indigenous Works event, and invited two groups of students from Ktunaxa Nation to tour our mill in Radium and discuss career opportunities.

We received positive feedback from the first Women in Industry event in Prince George in October, in partnership with the Council of Forest Industries. Twenty high school students toured our operations and were partnered with tradespeople to explore areas of interest.

Feedback on first "Women in Industry" event

"I never thought I would be interested in trades but after today so many opportunities have opened up. Thank you so much!

"I'm so glad I took this opportunity and I can see myself here in the future." 


Our Prince George sawmill hosted the annual School District 57 Council of Forest Industries Student Day in Prince George on March 3. A group of 33 Grade 10-12 students and their instructors spent the day with our maintenance teams. We were a returning sponsor of the Prince George Construction Association’s annual Heavy Metal Rocks work experience, which gave 30 senior high school students hands-on experience in the construction industry.

In April, Canfor was recognized as Employer of the Year by the University of British Columbia Engineering Co-op Program for our longstanding support of the program. Since 1995, we have provided co-op positions for 333 students in disciplines such as mechanical engineering, quality control, clean energy and chemical engineering.  

Canfor and the University of Northern British Columbia continue to partner to deliver a unique fourth-year course where our forest professionals teach students about operational practices and implementation throughout the entire chain of forest management. The cource is now in its fourth year, and feedback from the students continues to be very positive. In Burnaby, BC, Canfor Pulp Innovation Centre offers co‑op placements to give students a better understanding of how innovative and forward-looking the forest industry can be.  

In 2016, we provided $78,123.64 through our scholarship and bursary programs. Our scholarship programs support forestry, wood products manufacturing and engineering studies, as well as studies leading to millwright, electrician, power engineer, instrument technician, welder and heavy-duty mechanic designations.

In 2016, we awarded scholarships to high school students from our operating communities. In the fourth year of the Bentley-Prentice scholarships for children of Canfor employees, we recognized four students for academic excellence. We work with secondary and post-secondary institutions to provide financial support to students pursuing studies in forestry, including dedicated support for First Nations students. We provided bursaries to five students from Ktunaxa Nation to help them pursue studies related to forestry or trades. We invested more than $12,770 to sponsor Dry Grads at 13 schools in BC and Alberta.

We believe referrals from existing employees are a great way to recruit people who will fit into our culture. Through our Employee Referral Policy, we offer a bonus of $500 to $1,500 to staff who refer a candidate. The bonus is paid 60 calendar days after the new employee’s start date. All employees who refer a candidate are also entered into a quarterly draw for gift certificates for Canfor merchandise. In 2016, there were more than 900 referrals, and $47,000 in cash awards.