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Halifax job fair draws more than 2,000 attendees

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The atmosphere inside a job fair in Halifax on Wednesday was electric as eager job seekers pushed through crowds and endured long lines at employers’ booths.

“We had 350 people in the first 20 minutes literally come into the service and we still had a lineup going down and around the building,” said Philip Cantrill, executive director of Job Junction Nova Scotia Works.

The job fair is a two-day event, with its first day seeing more than 2,000 people attend.

Attendees like Abishek Damodran and his friend Mohammed Saif were surprised to see so many people fill the room looking for jobs.

“We are looking for a part-time right now. We still don’t find a job and it’s been like four-to-five months that we are here. We thought it could be helpful but there is so much competition,” said Damodran.

Damodran said it has been extremely difficult finding a part-time position around the Halifax area and he hopes the job fair helps.

“We have dropped off our resume at a few places and they have given positive responses, so we’re hoping,” he said.

More than 100 employers set up booths at the job fair.

“Things are always changing, people are always changing and so we really wanted to be connected to them and see what we can offer to them and see what they can offer the forces as well,” said Roxxane Cyr, crews commander of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Some were also there to promote the types of jobs that exist within the industry.

“We have more than just sea-going positions. We have shore-based positions. We want people to understand that we do more than just go on vessels and explain what the opportunities are and how great it is to work with the Coast Guard,” said Scott Fisher of the Canadian Coast Guard.

Others also provided information on jobs that may not people be on people’s radars.

“Most people think it requires an enormous amount of education to get into Nova Scotia Health. Here we offer actually a handful of online courses to get you started and because the need is so great, we actually offer an opportunity that once you’re enrolled in this course you can actually be hired within Nova Scotia Health as soon as you’re enrolled,” said Cheryl Bennet with Nova Scotia Health’s Medical Device Reprocessing Department.

Saif said he was happy to have the opportunity.

“I think it’s a very good platform to connect with the employer because we don’t get the opportunity to connect with the employer directly,” he said.

However, there were others attending the event who did not find the job fair had positions that matched their qualifications.

“We came here thinking it was going to be a big job fest but we didn’t find it useful for us,” Christy Binoy and Isbel Sabal.

Binoy and Sabal said they are graduates of the management program and a lot of the positions available were not a fit for them.

“It seems like it’s more so for the health-care field so there’s not much opportunities for us,” Sabal.

The next job fair is going to be in the summer season.  

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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