Stacey Laybolt (right), assistant food and beverage manager of Elements Casino in Cloverdale, connects with an attendee at the Black Press Extreme Career Fair last month on the Lower Mainland. Black Press is hosting a Lower Island edition next week at The Q Centre in Colwood. Lance Peverley/Black Press

Career Fair in Colwood connects all sides of job market

Black Press Extreme Education and CareerFair runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at The Q Centre

As regional and provincial unemployment remain near record lows, next week’s Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair could be your best bet to connect with your next employer.

The fair, organized by Black Press, publisher of your local community newspaper, offers attendees access to a wide range of companies and organizations from both the private and public sector.

“There’s a lot of recruitment being done in the area and there’s lots of opportunities for people to follow their passion,” says Brittney Prentice, events marketing co-ordinator for Black Press. “This is about making the greater community in Victoria aware of what’s available to them.”

The show itself runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at The Q Centre at West Shore Parks and Recreation, 1767 Island Hwy. in Colwood.

One of the companies present will be Slegg Building Materials, a Sidney-based building supplier, with locations and deep ties across Vancouver Island, including Saanich.

“We are participating because we are a growing business that continues to look for talented people,” said Julie Adams.

While it is difficult to say what percentage share of the company’s employees comes from job fairs, such events offer at least three advantages, she said.

First, it exposes the company. “It gives us an opportunity to interact with potential employees, and a chance to demonstrate that we are more than just a lumber company,” said Adams. “It gives us an opportunity to show the kind of careers that we offer.”

Second, job fairs gives an interested audience a chance to learn about the company, she said. “It is also educational,” she said. While the fair might not lead to a match, attendees will have learned more about the company, information which they can share with others in their network.

Third, it also gives the chance the company to interact with representatives from employment services centre, employment counsellors and the representatives of educational institution, said Adams.

Overall, Adams said the quality of these jobs fairs have always pleased her. Over the years, the company has used job fairs to hire four managers and numerous employees outside that category.

Exhibitors range from public sector employers such as B.C. Corrections, ICBC, B.C. Ferries, the University of Victoria and the Canadian Armed Forces, to private companies including Thrifty Foods, Country Grocer, Elements Casino in View Royal, Black Press and others.

The fair is targeting not only unemployed people, Prentice said, but students and “those that are looking to change careers and get a fresh start on something.” It follows successful career fairs hosted in the Comox Valley and Langley earlier this year and ties in with the regular LocalWorkBC.ca jobs feature seen on all Black Press community newspaper websites.

Next week’s job fair happens against the backdrop of a rosy job picture. While regional unemployment has ticked up in recent months, it remains among the lowest in the country with 4.5 per cent in September 2017. That is lower than the unemployment rate across British Columbia, whose rate of 4.9 per cent ranks below the national figure of 6.2 per cent.

Just Posted

Well-versed in national competition, trio heads to B.C. Summer Games

The three will be representing Zone 6 in boys field lacrosse

Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson set to hit Rock the Shores stage

Other acts include Bahamas, Allen Stone and Bedouin Soundclash

Canada men’s sevens team hoping for a top eight finish

Captain Harry Jones hopes to inspire rugby youth

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Jacklin Road reopens

The section of road has been closed for five months

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

LOCAL FLAVOUR: South Island expecting a bumper berry crop

It’s berry time in Saanich. My raspberries are getting plump and ripe… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read