‘It is definitely a job seekers market right now‘

Employers taking advantage to promote opportunities at Southwestern Nova Scotia Job & Career Fair

KATHY JOHNSON TRI-COUNTY VANGUARD kathy.johnson @saltwire.com



SaltWire Network



As many as 70 employers from throughout southwestern Nova Scotia will be marketing job opportunities with their companies and businesses to job seekers at the Nova Scotia Works Southwest Nova Scotia Job and Career Fair happening at the Yarmouth Mariners Centre on Saturday, May 28. “Registrations from employers continue to roll in and we are very much hoping to fill the entire floor,” says Candice Phibbs, co-owner of Mile East Productions Ltd., which is producing the job fair on behalf of Southwest Employment Services. The job fair will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is free, and will also include space for community service providers, as well as computers in case someone wants to update their résumé. “We're very happy to be planning this event, it's great to get back to in-person activities," says Phibbs. "We hope employers and job seekers will take this opportunity in stride and make this an extremely successful event. The more employers and the more job seekers the better. Even if you're not looking for a job come out and see what opportunities exist, you never know what might pique your interest.” Southwest Employment Services hosted its first Yarmouth Job Fair in 2017 at the NSCC Burridge Campus. “In the past we've had 30-plus employers and always had to turn some away because our location wasn't quite big enough,” says Rhonda Zasitko, executive director of Southwest Employment Services. “This year we decided to try it out at the Mariners Centre because they have the space for up to 70 employers, plus space for service providers, up to 10, that are located in the community.” Zasitko says they also changed the name of the job fair from Yarmouth and Area Job Fair to N.S. Works Southwest Employment Services Job and Career Fair. “We do have another option if employers are not able to (be present),” says Zasitko. “We will have a table where we be able to take applications and résumés and if employers can provide us with some information, we will have 'Job's Here' where people can go up, fill out an application and leave it with us and we can give it to the employers.” Zasitko expects the majority of employers attending the job fair will be from the Yarmouth, Argyle and Clare areas, but there may be some larger employers from other areas. “There will be a lot of volunteers helping,” she says. Rick Allwright, executive director of the Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce, says many businesses are finding it difficult to recruit employees. “From summer student positions to management/ executive level, businesses are under significant pressures,” he says. “We know that our region is not alone in this issue and that our region's businesses compete nationally and internationally for staff.” Allwright says the Chamber is hoping that everyone who is unemployed, underemployed or otherwise looking for potential opportunities will attend the job fair and talk with the many employers. Leading up to the job fair Southwest Employment Services will be doing a number of workshops to help job seekers, including a workshop on meeting and talking to employers to tips on how to prepare for a job interview. Registration is necessary to attend the workshops. Zasitko says Southwest Employment Services has also been working closely with their partners in the planning and delivery of the job fair including the N.S. Works offices in Clare and Argyle, CBDC Yarmouth, the TriCounty Women's Centre, the Western REN, the Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce. Y-Reach, the Department of Community Services and the town and municipality of Yarmouth. “We are also going to be reaching out to NSCC and Université Sainte-Anne to reach those potential job seekers as well as looking to expand and reach out to some new partners including the business community,” Zasitko says. “CASSA always provides us with a photocopier to photocopy last-minute things for job seekers including resumes. We will be doing mock interviews and stuff and we will have some computers available in case someone wants to update their resume,” she says. Sarah Gagnon, the job developer at Southwest Employment Services, says employers don't necessarily need to be hiring at the moment to be at the job fair, adding it's also an opportunity for new businessed to get some exposure. The list of employers seeking employees is long and crosses basically every sector, says Gagnon. “CCA's, we're in desperate need. People are really needed in the trades, carpenters, electricians, general labourers, construction, boatbuilders, retail, the service industry, restaurants, there's so many sectors,” says Gagnon. “Everyone's hiring right now. There's a lot of jobs.” Zasitko notes a lot of job seekers tend to not be applying for a lot of the jobs that COVID had so many restrictions on. “The whole thing with COVID improving and things opening up, people feel more confident that the businesses are actually going to stay open. It is definitely a job seekers market right now. Employers really have to start tightening up what options and benefits they have for a job because job seekers are going to be looking around. They have more options.” For more information about the job fair or to register for a booth visit yarmouthjobfair.ca . People can also contact Sarah Gagnon at 902-7425859 or by email sgagnon@ swemployment.com.