Now Hiring! Jobs in Trade & Transportation

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in 8-10, Work and Home | 0 comments

This lesson, which is informed by the big idea of Interconnectedness, introduces students to some of the work and career options in International Trade and Transportation. Starting with an activity that raises students’ awareness about the growth of the Port of Prince Rupert, students are asked to research and to teach each other about a port-related job. Students then create a job advertisement for a port-related job that describes the qualifications, experience and attributes of the ideal candidate.


3-4 sessions of 45-60 minutes


Students will:

  • Research and gain an understanding of local career options that are directly related to activities supported by the Port of Prince Rupert
  • Identify the education, experience, skills and personal attributes required to do a specific port job
  • Use a range of information sources about careers, education and training
  • Summarize career and labour market information
  • Analyze job advertisements and create a job advertisement of their own


  • News headlines about growth and career opportunities at the Port of Prince Rupert (see Resources section)
  • Example of a mind map for organizing students’ research findings (see Resources section)
  • Resource sheet: Careers at the Port: Research Links and Resources (see Resources section)
  • Job sections from a range of local, regional and national newspapers
  • Resource sheet: Sources for “How to Write a Job Advertisement” (see Resources section)


  • Computer and projector or Smart Board
  • Computer and internet access for student research


  • Become familiar with the information in the Resources to this lesson plan.
  • Determine the method that you will use for randomly assigning students (or pairs of students) the Port careers listed in Activity 2.
  • Gather and bring in the jobs/employment sections of a range of local, regional and national newspapers.

CRITICAL VOCABULARY (see Glossary for definitions)

Coast Guard Officer, Gantry Crane Operator, Meteorologist, Customs Officer, Longshore Worker/Stevedore, Shipping Agent, Environmental Engineer, Marine Pilot, Vessel Traffic Officer


  • Explain to the students that this lesson will introduce them to a number of careers in Trade and Transportation – careers that are associated with the activities of the Port of Prince Rupert.
  • Using the projector, Smart Board, or in the form of a hand out, show students the recent media headlines about growth and career opportunities at the Port of Prince Rupert (see Resources section).
  • Lead a discussion with the students about what these headlines could mean for them with respect to future career and lifestyle choices:
    • Through the discussion, encourage students to share their own level of awareness of the opportunities at the Port and their interest in working there.
    • Support students in identifying some of the benefits of the increasing job opportunities at the Port (for example, diversity of local jobs, more opportunities to stay in Prince Rupert, growth in other employment sectors that serve the Port, etc.)
  • Broaden the discussion by asking students if they know anyone – a family member or friend, for example – who works at the Port. Invite those students to share what they know about their friend’s/family member’s job and the kind of lifestyle that comes with it.


  • Randomly assign each student one of the following Port-related careers:
    • Coast Guard Officer
    • Customs Officer
    • Environmental Engineer
    • Gantry Crane Operator
    • Longshore Worker/Stevedore
    • Meteorologist
    • Marine Pilot
    • Shipping Agent
    • Vessel Traffic Officer
    • (The careers have been chosen to represent a variety of required skills, duties and formal training/education.)

  • Individually, or in pairs (of the same job), students conduct research into and make working notes on the career that they have been given. Students can use a mind map to organize their findings. (See example in Resources Section.) Their research should address the following types of information:
    • Main career-related tasks and responsibilities;
    • Working conditions;
    • Formal education and qualifications required;
    • Skills required;
    • Personal qualities considered necessary for the career;
    • Different grades or levels within the career stream (from entry level to most senior position); and
    • Salary range.
  • Refer to the Careers at the Port: Research Links and Resources (in Resources Section) sheet to give students some support and assistance with their research. (The following activity works best, however, if each student/pair of students has found information from different sources.)


  • Jigsaw Activity, part (a) –
    • Put students into groups according to the careers they have been researching (e.g. all Customs Officers together, all Shipping Agents together, and so on). These groups will become “experts” on their career.
    • Have students combine their findings onto a mind map to come up with the most important facts about their career using the information categories given in Activity 2. (See example mind map in Resources section.)
    • Make sure that each group member has a copy of this “master” mind map.
  • Jigsaw Activity, part (b) –
    • Put the students into groups in which each student in the group is an “expert” on a different career.
    • In these groups, have each student report the information that was put together in their “expert” group, so that each “expert” teaches the other group members about her/his particular career.
  • Lead the whole class in a general discussion of the findings. Questions could include:
    • Which of the careers appeals to you most? Why?
    • Which of the careers appeals to you least? Why?
    • What was the most surprising or interesting thing that you learned about the career that you researched and/or the careers that your classmates taught you about?


Students choose a partner with the same original career. Working in pairs, students create a one-page job advertisement for their career. As appropriate, students should select a specific position level within the career stream (e.g. entry level, graduate position, senior position, etc.).

In preparation for this task, have students look at some examples of job advertisements. You could bring in the job sections from a number of local, regional and national newspapers and/or have students browse advertisements on such job sites as Monster and Workopolis.

Brainstorm with students the components and attributes of effective job advertisements. (See list of online Sources for “How to Write a Job Advertisement”, in Resources section.)

Work with the students to determine the assessment criteria for the finished advertisement. Appropriate criteria might include:

  • Inclusion of all necessary information, such as:
    • Job title/position;
    • Overview of the Port of Prince Rupert (the employer);
    • Main duties/responsibilities of the job;
    • Required education/qualifications, experience, skills and qualities;
    • Hourly rate or annual salary; and
    • How to apply and the application deadline
  • How clear and readable the advertisement is.
  • How eye-catching and engaging the advertisement is.


Information in the job advertisement can be presented in bullet points (rather than full sentences and paragraphs).

As appropriate, students could do an audio recording of their job advertisement instead of a written one.


Interviewing a Local Person in a Port-related Job

Help students set up an interview with someone whose work is directly related to activity that is sustained by the Port of Prince Rupert in the role that they have researched.

Presentation by a Local Person in a Port-related Job

Invite someone whose work is directly related to activity that is sustained by the Port of Prince Rupert to come to talk to the class about his or her job. If one of the students has a family member or friend who works in a port-related job, find out if they can come in and give a talk.



Careers at the Port: Research Links and Resources

Coast Guard Officer – Canadian Coast Guard – Canadian Coast Guard careers page – includes featured jobs, videos, recruitment kit, photos – Canadian Coast Guard YouTube channel – Careers in the Federal Public Service – Home page for Canadian Coast Guard College – Wikipedia page on Canadian Coast Guard College

Customs Officer – Canada Boarder Services Agency – CBSA Job Opportunities page – YouTube video on what it’s like to work for the CBSA – Wikipedia page on CBSA–-a-job-as-a-border-services-officer/ – An “unofficial” guide to Canada Customs – Work BC job profile and outlook

Environmental Engineer – ECO Canada (Environmental Careers Organization) profile of Environmental Engineer – Working in Canada video, Environmental Engineer – National Science Foundation video on working as an Environmental Engineer – profile of Environmental Engineer – Career Planner profile of Environmental Engineer – Government of Alberta Occupational Profiles – Environmental Engineer

Gantry Crane Operator – Human Resources and Skills Development Canada job profile – HRSDC job profile – BC Association for Crane Safety – Day in the Life account on BCACS site – WorkBC job profile – YouTube video of female gantry crane operator produced by Global Logistics Media – US ABC News story on port crane operators

Longshore Worker/Stevedore – Wise Geek guide to becoming a stevedore – WorkBC job profile – WorkBC “Career Trek” video of a longshore worker in Prince Rupert – Photo essay on a day in the life of a longshore worker – Love to Know Jobs and Careers – Wikipedia entry – Job Monkey profile of stevedore – Job Monkey profile of longshoreman

Marine Pilot – Wikipedia entry on marine pilot – Canadian Marine Pilots Association – British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd. – Federal Government guide on how to become a marine pilot – YouTube video describing job of marine pilot – Series of videos on BC Coast Pilots produced by Jane McIvor

Meteorologist – Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society page on Choosing a Career in Atmospheric Sciences – Environment Canada Meteorology page – YouTube video by Environment Canada about the science of meteorology – WorkBC job profile and outlook – Meet Ria, a Meteorologist – Science Buddies, profile of meteorologist (US site, but still generically useful) – Occupational profile by Government of Alberta

Shipping Agent – Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council Occupation Standard – Human Resources and Skills Development Canada profile – WorkBC profile – Transport Quebec description of a shipping agent – Wikipedia entry for shipping agency - Cargo and Freight Agent career overview video on YouTube, produced by

Vessel Traffic Officer – The Maritime Industry Foundation Knowledge Centre overview of the roles and responsibilities of a vessel traffic officer – Wikipedia entry on Vessel Traffic Service – Canadian Coast Guard description of Vessel Traffic Services – Canadian Coast Guard description of a Marine Communications and Traffic Services Officer – visually engaging overview of the roles and responsibilities of a Marine Communications and Traffic Services Officer – Details of Marine Communications and Traffic Services in Prince Rupert on the Canadian Coast Guard website – Personal account of working as a Marine Communications and Traffic Services Officer in Thunder Bay, Ontario – US article on 40th anniversary of Vessel Traffic Service (includes references to operations with Canada in Puget Sound) – YouTube video giving an overview of vessel traffic services in the European Union

Sources for “How to Write a Job Advertisement”

Guides to Creating Effective Job Ads – guide from McMaster University – clear, succinct guide – more detailed guide adapted from the book Finding Keepers: The Monster Guide to Hiring and Holding the World’s Best Employees by Steve Pogorzelski, Jesse Harriott, Ph.D., and Doug Hardy. Published January 2008 by McGraw‐Hill. – colourful and graphically appealing guide – guide from Queensland Transport, Australia – guide from University of Adelaide, Australia

Canadian Job Websites

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