Worker shortage leaves students pizza-less

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Until Chartwells finds a few good men and women, students will have to find somewhere else to get their Pizza Pizza.

Calgary's hot labour market means Chartwells--the University of Calgary food services provider--is facing a severe staffing shortage. As a result, the Pizza Pizza in MacEwan Student Centre and the Scurfield Hall Cafe are both closed this week, and will remain closed until Chartwells hires more staff.

"The situation in Calgary is affecting us this year," said Chartwells senior director Jan Morel. "We're recruiting the students now that they're all here."

Morel said Chartwells is short about 15 full-time positions, or 40 part-time positions, and hopes to hire enough staff to open the two locations by next week.

She added that Chartwells has upped their wages to compete and will schedule around classes.

"We've increased our pay rates for skilled workers," said Morel, noting positions like cooks and bakers working for Chartwells now make more than the average service-sector wage.

This summer, government legislation allowed international students in Alberta to work off-campus for the first time. Though Chartwells hires many international students, Morel said she doesn't think the new legislation is a factor in current staffing shortages since the application process to work off-campus is complicated.