It was a case of less being best in Cork. Despite a disappointing turnout at its Jobs Fair the British Columbia Construction Association signed up 40 of the 400 people who attended the event yesterday. Another 200 people will probably be offered jobs once they are matched with employers after the delegation returns home.
“The craft workers who came were of really high quality”, BCCA Vice President Abigail Fulton said afterwards. The ten BCCA employers with the delegation, “were very happy with the people who came and I am confident we can match about 200 other people we interviewed with other member firms once we get home.”
Numbers attending the Jobs Fair picked up significantly after she was interviewed on RTE’s News at One. “It was actually better than Dublin because we had more time to interview people and it was better for them also as it enhanced their job opportunities.”
She said that no employers will be accompanying the BCCA delegation to Belfast, where there is another Jobs Fair at the Belfast Hilton, Lanyon Place, on Thursday, from 1pm to 5pm. But she urged people to come as job offers would follow for suitable applicants once they have been interviewed and have provided their CVs. “We will then match them to our members’ requirements at home. Once a job match is made a definite offer will follow and we will assist successful applicants in negotiating the job integration programme.”
Job applicants are advised to register online at www.bccassn.com if possible beforehand to expedite the processing of their applications, but it is not essential.
The BCCA is not a jobs agency. It matches recruits to member firms and agrees terms for them in advance. It also has supports in place in British Columbia to assist new arrivals and their families, from processing work permit applications to finding accommodation. There are no fees.
Besides 500 jobs that need filling as soon as possible, another 2,000 vacancies will arise over the next couple of years and up to 20,000 vacancies need to be filled over the longer term. Anyone with suitable training and experience who is not offered a job will be placed on the BCCA database.
Unlike other developed economies Canada had no banking crisis and is currently enjoying a boom based in part on exploitation of new oil and gas reserves. Anyone under 35 with the right qualifications can obtain a one year work permit relatively quickly. This can be converted into permanent residency before the year is out. Effectively these workers will jump the queue and the BCCA will help them process the documentation, which is complex.