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WorkBC looks to connect employers and job seekers at qathet region job fair

"We have many job seekers, like people affected by the curtailment at the Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill, looking at how their skills are transferable within the local economy." ~ Brodie D’Angio, manager, WorkBC Centre Powell River
EMPLOYMENT HELPERS: WorkBC Centre Powell River manager Brodie D’Angio [left] and employment counsellor Laurie Marshall [right] are looking forward to hosting a job fair for qathet region employers and job seekers on Thursday, May 5. The job fair provides a unique opportunity to connect employers and potential employees in person.

WorkBC Centre Powell River will host a job fair on Thursday, May 5, at the ARC Community Event Centre, and WorkBC manager Brodie D’Angio is looking forward to providing employers and job seekers another way to connect.

“The job fairs we hosted before the pandemic were always well received, and very successful,” says Brodie. “The current climate is perfect for a job fair. We have many job seekers, like people affected by the curtailment at the Catalyst Paper Tis’kwat mill, looking at how their skills are transferable within the local economy.

“We also have employers eager to connect with people and willing to train if the right person has a skill gap for the job. Setting aside a time to get all those people together in one location is great for both groups.”

There are a lot of jobs available in the region, both seasonal and permanent full-time work, according to Brodie.

“There are over 100 job postings on the board at our office right now, which is about a 50 per cent increase over 2020 levels,” he says. “In a hot market like this, and especially when employers are understaffed and busy, taking two hours out of the day to attend a job fair might seem difficult to manage, but employers who’ve attended our job fairs in the past know how valuable attending can be.

“At a job fair, you will meet candidates you might not normally meet, and have conversations with people who have a non-traditional background but lots of transferable skills. At one of our previous job fairs, we had a hospitality employer hire their entire summer staff complement in two hours.”

Job fairs also allow job seekers the opportunity to learn more about different sectors they might not have considered before.

“Seekers sometimes find job postings intimidating, and some won’t apply unless they have all the skills listed in the posting,” says Brodie. “It’s a lot easier to go and have a conversation with an employer, find out what the workplace is like, and also how much the employer is willing to train incoming employees if they’re short on a few skills. Job fairs can help break down barriers for job seekers and give them confidence in themselves.”

WorkBC Centre Powell River will also have a table, where they will help people navigate the fair and provide information on their services for both employers and job seekers.

“We can provide feedback on cover letters and resumes, talk about how skills transfer, and what the market is like right now in qathet,” explains Brodie. “On the employer side, we can assist with applying for various training and wage subsidy grant programs through different levels of government, and can help connect skilled workers with the right employer. We know the labour market in the qathet region, and we put that expertise to work for everyone.”

Brodie encourages job seekers to bring a few resumes to the event, and also to reach out to WorkBC prior to the fair in order to put their best foot forward.

“We are seeing more people coming into the office for assistance, but we also still offer virtual appointments for those not comfortable coming in,” says Brodie. “We can help people find financial support for skills training, resources when starting a new job or transferring sectors, and short-term certificate programs.”

The job fair runs from 2 to 4 pm at the ARC Community Event Centre, 7055 Alberni Street, and is free for both employers and job seekers. Interested employers are encouraged to call WorkBC (604.485.7958, ask for Rob Hughes) soon, as tables are filling up fast.