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

A report on food security in Sooke reveals that nearly 15 per cent of people in Sooke have trouble getting food on the table. (The Canadian Press)
Food security a growing challenge in Sooke

‘This isn’t going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it’

A health-care worker takes part in HeArt Therapy session conducted by Shirley artist Sheila Thomas. (Contributed - Lorrie Beauchamp)
A creative ‘thanks’ to Vancouver Island’s essential workers

Artist Sheila Thomas creates therapy art session for workers on pandemic’s frontlines

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

The Victoria Royals will return to the Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign when they open next season against the Vancouver Giants on Oct. 2. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fans expected in the Save-On stands for Victoria Royals’ Oct. 2 home opener

It’ll be the first Western Hockey League action at the arena since March 2020

The City of Victoria is once again offering $50,000 for selected neighbourhood enhancement projects, through its participatory budgeting program. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria neighbourhoods can earn city funding for projects

Up to $50,000 available for initiatives that enhance, enrich neighbourhoods

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

(Metro Creative)
Adult soccer returns to Sooke after pandemic layoff

Drop-in games every Wednesday at Fred Milne Turf

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

By the end of life, the average North American has eaten the weight of a family sedan in sugar. (Pixabay.com)
FITNESS: Living the sweet life without too much sugar

Simple choices can have a major impact on your health

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Most Read