If you’re looking for your first job, post-secondary training or a complete career change there’s an amazing opportunity in Victoria today.
For the second year Black Press is hosting its Extreme Education and Career Fair at the Bay Street Armoury at 715 Bay St. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There are 75 employers looking to hire, including those in food and hospitality, health and fitness, finance, retail outlets, transportation, the Canadian Armed Forces, airline and travel, construction, security and more (for a full list, head to the event’s Facebook page).
Some employers are new to the career fair scene, including First Choice Hair Cutters.
“It’s our first experience so we’re very excited. It looks fabulous, a lot of good vendors here,” said Shannon Taylor, district manager for First Choice Hair Cutters on Vancouver Island. “Recruitment is huge and it’s a big part of our staffing and we just can’t get the bodies so we thought we’d try something other than paper, and get our faces out there.”
Other vendors have career fair experience, including Thrifty Foods.
“I think it’s well set up, I think everyone’s looking forward to an energetic, fun day!” said Bob Cool, facility leader at the Victoria retail support centre for Thrifty Foods, who added they want full-time employees. “We’re looking for energetic warehouse people who are motivated to join us at a progressive company that has lots of opportunity for growth.”
Employees can have experience or be fresh from graduation.
“We do a lot of on-site training, so we can take anyone from high school or university that’s never been in a warehouse situation and we train them right from start to finish,” Cool said.
For Morgan Watts, human resources representative from Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel and Spa, the day has been fruitful.
“It’s been a good day, steady and lots of different types of people coming, so yeah it’s been successful,” Watts said, adding that the career fair adds an interesting aspect to recruiting. “It’s about meeting face to face. I think you can tell pretty quickly if they fit in to your team.”
Staples manager Gerry Dennis is already planning interviews.
“We’ve got some real opportunities for interviews coming up. As it stands, eight candidates are seriously looking,” Dennis said. “When you’re dealing with a fair like this that’s well advertised, people are aware it’s going on, people are planning for it, [and there’s a] greater opportunity to connect with far more people.”
Other vendors aren’t looking to hire, but rather to share information about education opportunities.
“We’re just looking to reach out to everyone in the community, said Bella Nicholls, admission recruitment advisor from Camosun. “Camosun has something to offer everybody, whether you’re looking to take a non-credit course for interest’s sake, or you wanna do a full certificate, diploma or degree we have something for everybody.”
Erik Evans is one of the many job-seekers on scene who wants to make changes in his career as he heads back to school.
“My current priorities in life are changing bit, before I was working full time right out of high school and now I’m jumping into college life so I’m looking for something a little bit more evening-specific and part time,” Evens said, adding he also attended a career fair last year. “I had a bunch of opportunities immediately after, and I got to pick and choose what I was looking for. It turned out amazing; great opportunities and learning experiences so hopefully I’ll get the same outcome this time.”
People are encouraged to come by with their resume and be ready for an on-spot interview.
– with files from Spencer Pickles
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