Erin McFadyen

Job fair response highlights tough employment market

Hundreds line up for one-day job fair at GT Hiring Solutions

When GT Hiring Solutions announced on Facebook, Twitter and its blog that it was hosting a one day job fair, it generated immediate interest and more than three hundred pre-registrations.

But that was only the tip of the iceberg. When it opened its doors at 10 a.m. this morning, nearly twice that number of people had already lined Douglas Street and wrapped around the corner onto Johnson – all of them looking for work.

The people who arrived for the job fair spanned the spectrum of Victoria’s population with men and women of all ages, educational levels, experience and backgrounds. Employers included a number of restaurant chains, retail stores, construction work, hotel work at the Victoria Marriott and Beacon Home Care.

Factors for this level of interest are varied, said Lindsay McLaughlin, the manager of GT Hiring Solutions and one of the organizers of the job fair.

“Victoria obviously has always had a lot of government jobs and they’ve imposed a hiring freeze so that’s had an effect. As well we have a lot of tourism and hospitality jobs and with the season winding down that has an impact too,” she said.

McLaughlin’s firm has been under contract with the provincial Ministry of Social Development since April as a WorkBC Employment Service Centre to help people overcome hurdles when looking for work.

“It’s a sort of a tight-knit town,” McLaughlin said. “There are jobs out there, but it’s important to get out and network. In some ways it’s a bit of a hidden job market and you have to work harder here to find a job.”

That’s been the case for 28-year-old Heather Brass. She’s been working, but has been “underemployed” for nearly two years. She had worked for both the provincial and federal governments, and since that work evaporated, she’s found it hard to find new employers.

“There’s not a lot of jobs out there and a lot of competition,” she said while waiting in line to enter the job fair.

Barb Anderson has been out of work for a year after the bank she worked at cut back staff. She went to Camosun  College to upgrade her skills and at age 53 found herself in a class of 80 other students. “All of those people are out here now, looking for the same kind of work I want,” Anderson said. “I’m competing with all of them as well as all the others in classes before and since.”

Erin McFadyen, 18, said he has only managed to find part-time weekend work despite a four-month job search. “Part time doesn’t pay the bills,” he said.

“We’re obviously still dealing with an economy that’s trying to get on it’s feet, and times are hard for those looking for work,” McLaughlin said. “But we have a great team here today and fifteen employers who are looking for staff. There are jobs out there, the key is to never give up and to use places like ours to help where we can.”

More information on the provincial job centres can be found at workbc.ca.

reporter@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Saanich resident leads crusade against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

Province allows drugstores to sell cigarettes and some feel policy should change, retailers disagree

VICTORIA FRINGE FEST: There’s always something new to discover on stage

33rd annual live theatre festival has numerous styles and topics to choose from

Langford veteran rehab program takes multi-tiered approach to treating pain

Clinic ‘bio-psycho-social approach to healing’ from Victoria to the West Shore earlier this year

Residential construction activity slows across Greater Victoria

Vancouver Island Construction Association warns of ‘mixed outlook’

PHOTOS: India Mela celebrates culture, dance and food

The annual downtown event brought culture and fun together

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Hearings begin as Vancouver Island mom fights for allegedly abducted daughter

Tasha Brown now in Jersey in the British Isles, fundraiser being held in Nanaimo

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Most Read