Erin McFadyen

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

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read