‘Hipster is not a real job,’ says B.C. government

The confusing ad and the labour shortage behind it


If your current resume boasts about your collection of retro Nintendo games and vintage cassette tapes, the B.C. Liberal government has some bad news for you: “hipster is not a real job.”

That slogan, part of a $15-million ad campaign by the B.C. government, can be found on busses throughout Vancouver. The ads direct readers to, a website promoting skilled trades jobs.

At the very least, the government’s heart appears to be in the right place. The labour shortage in B.C. is no secret—in fact, it’s on the verge of getting worse.

The B.C. government projected that among a million job openings expected by 2020, 43 per cent will require skilled workers. Meanwhile, another study by Skills Canada revealed that only about a quarter of young people were considering a career path in trades.

So a campaign of this sort certainly makes sense. The execution of that campaign—that’s a different matter.

Vancouver Island University student Ryan Crowder told The Navigator, the school’s student newspaper, that he found the ad baffling. “I don’t really understand the point that they’re trying to get across with the slogan. It doesn’t really make that much sense,” he said.

Speak for yourself, Ryan. I would never have worn those ironically pink skinny jeans had I known I wasn’t getting paid to do so.

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