Job fairs connect job seekers with employers

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Mike Annear is looking to hire some people to work for him at King's County Construction

If you’re looking for work, the owner of Kings County Construction wants to meet you.

Mike Annear will be among dozens of employers with a booth at the upcoming SkillsPEI job fairs in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, and O’Leary between April 9 and 19. Mike says he looks forward to the annual job fairs as a chance to put faces of Island job seekers to their names.

“The job fair gives it a personal touch – I can meet people so they’re not just a resume on a desk,” he explained.

“When we meet face to face and I can tell pretty quickly how eager people are to work. You can tell in their voice, the ones who are eager to work ask a lot of questions. And it says a lot about someone that they made an effort to show up.”

Annear said the fairs are a valuable opportunity to meet seasonal and full-time staff for construction and landscaping and recommends other employers set up a booth.

He’s had good luck with job fairs in the past. Of the four to six new employees he hires each year, half of them have come from meetings at past job fairs in the spring.

“It is good that companies can fill empty positions in just a two-hour meeting block of time. And for job seekers, this is a venue that gathers dozens of different employers in one place,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

In addition to the job fairs and other resources for job seekers, the provincial government is investing specifically in the industry for Annear and others through the Construction Association of Prince Edward Island. The Island’s commercial construction sector led the country in 2016 with 12.5 percent growth, and it continues to be strong leading to abundant job opportunities. The Construction Association says there are a hundred positions available in construction right now.

The province’s investment in construction involves developing a worker recruitment plan and funding for the Trade HERizons initiative led by Women’s Network PEI, which aims to increase the number of women in trades.

A new online portal, Islandbuilder.ca lists training opportunities, job openings and other information. (Trade HERizons is ongoing now)

“Our government is committed to helping Islanders get the skills and training they need to secure long-term employment,” Workforce and Advanced Learning Minister Sonny Gallant said. “Wages have been growing steadily this year and more Islanders are working, which helps make our communities more prosperous.

“As a small province, we are mighty because we are interconnected and help each other. A good example is these job fairs, and I encourage all job seekers to attend and see exactly how many great career opportunities there are right now on Prince Edward Island.”

Annear said that every time someone gets a job, it has far-reaching spinoffs. “When people are employed they are happier and healthier—and it’s good for our local companies, the Island’s economy, and for overall society.”

If you are an employer ready to hire, register with Skills PEI by March 30th to reserve your booth at one of the job fairs. 

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