Impressive turnout

Hundreds of hopeful residents turned up

on Friday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford

Centre for the first day of the Diamond Global

Job Fair.

The two-day event, designed to recruit people

for employment in Canada, started about 9 a.m.,

and saw over 800 people in that session signing

up for jobs in a number of industries including

construction, hotel and transportation. Majority

of the contracts will, however, be for jobs in fast

food chain restaurants and will run for either

two or four years.

The disappointing thing was that only between

35 and 45 people between the ages of 20 and

45 would be chosen from the group to fill

immediately available positions.

However, Benjamin Guth, vice-president of

Diamond Global, told all attendees to leave their

resumes for future consideration.

“The truth is we are here this trip to see the

level of demand and the number of people who

are interested,” said Guth, adding that there

were over 100 employers in Canada who they

knew were seeking staff.

He could not give a time frame in which

people would be employed but said: “We will do

our absolute best to get you in Canada as soon

as we possibly can”.

And while some residents who turned up

were from other Caribbean islands, they were

told only Barbadian citizens would

be considered.

During the session, which lasted just over

one hour, participants got information on

what to expect while living and working in the

North American territory. They also had the

opportunity to have any questions they

had answered.

Barbados TODAY spoke with some of

the people who turned up and they expressed

hope of finding employment through the

recruitment programme.

Some of them said they have been out of

a job for six months or more. Others were

already working but were seeking

new opportunities.

Melissa Carrington, 27, is about to finish her

studies in nursing, but said she had experience

in customer service and wanted the opportunity

to work in Canada, adding that she thought

she had “a great shot” at getting employment

through the recruitment programme.

Meanwhile, Kirk Blanch, 29, a mason, said he

was laid off six months ago and since then has

been doing temporary stints that came to an

end recently.

“They want around 30 [people] and we have

800 people here and I don’t hear him talk about

any tradesmen that kind a way. He talk about the

hotel industry and [fast food], I don’t know. It is

a keep-my-fingers-cross kind of thing,”

said Blanch.

Blanch believed if the construction projects

that were currently on hold as well as new ones,

could get off the ground soon, that could provide

employment not only for him “but for a

lot of people”.

The job fair continues on Saturday with two

sessions, 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (MM)

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