The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair is set to get underway in Cranbrook. Almost 40 employers are on hand, setting up their exhibits and getting ready to meet potential employees.
The employment showcase takes place from 11 am to 4 pm Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Ktunaxa Nation Building, 220 Cranbrook Street North, in Cranbrook.
Matching up young people looking for work with employers who need them is one of the challenges facing the labour market today.
B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook (2018) predicts there will be 903,000 job openings between now and 2028. This includes the creation of 288,000 new jobs because of economic growth and the need to replace 615,000 workers who will permanently leave the workforce, mainly due to retirement.
On the supply side, young people starting work (B.C. residents aged 29 or younger who are entering the labour force) are expected to fill 50 per cent of future job openings.
“These stats mean big opportunities for our youth,” said Justine Kennedy, director of employment services with Work BC in Cranbrook.
The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair is one of eight such events hosted around the province.
Companies from around the Kootenays are on hand today, showcasing the jobs they have to offer. Job seekers will have the chance to talk to potential employers, fill out applications, and even do on-the-spot interviews.
“These connections are a great way to get career insight and find out the competencies and qualifications required to work in their fields of interest. Youth submitting resumes to employers at job fairs also have the unique opportunity of supplementing their resume with a verbal discussion.
The career fair is not just for youth, of course, but for job seekers of all ages — those looking for a career change, desiring to get back into the workforce, or even taking courses to upgrade or acquire new skills.
“The Career Fair is really for anyone who is either looking for a job, looking for a career change, looking for educational options,” said Black Press Media events manager Sheri Jackson.
As well, since it’s predicted that 77 per cent of future jobs will require some form of post-secondary education or training, educational institutions like the College of the Rockies (East Kootenay), the Centre for Arts and Technology (Kelowna), and Lethbridge College will also be on hand.
“Youth should come to the career fair prepared to discuss their work and volunteer history, accomplishments and awards, and skills and certificates,” Kennedy said.