Youth Hiring Fair packed to the floor in Calgary

James Ryan, an immigrant filling up a hiring form during Calgary’s Youth Hiring Fair at The Big Four Building, Calgary on April 6,2023. About 5,000 postings were opened by the employers in fair. (Photo by Sumeet Singh/The Press)

Long queues erupted when the City of Calgary’s Youth Employment Centre opened its doors for the 24th Annual Youth Hiring Fair on April 6, in the Big Four Building at Stampede Park.

Some even started lining up at the gate from 9 a.m., hours before the gates were opened at a sharp 1:30 p.m. By that time, security had to make lines way before the zig-zag barricades, which were placed to keep the crowd managed.

As many companies are giving layoffs all over the globe, employers at the fair were looking to invest in the potential workforce of the country.

“What we’re seeing is that industries are very keen to hire,” said Tara Huxley, co-ordinator of recreation and social programs. “We have over 80 booths here today and they’re all looking to fill positions. In fact, we have almost 5,000 part-time, seasonal, or full-time positions within these employer booths.”

Tara Huxley, co-ordinator of recreation and social programs, near the City of Calgary’s booth at the Youth Hiring Fair at The Big Four Building, Calgary on April 6,2023. Eighty employersÕ booth were present at the fair. (Photo by Sumeet Singh/The Press)

Employers get a big platform to attract young employees through this fair every year.

“It’s super beneficial to us because we get to talk to a diverse range of people,” said Lloyd Wyer, captain of the Calgary Fire Department. “We get to talk to people that haven’t considered the fire department as a career, that really don’t know much about it.”

The event was free for people aged 15 to 24. Youth Employment Centre encourages students to attend the event through different means.

“Specific workshops just for this hiring fair, online QR codes were used, we just gave them different tools they could look at to feel prepared to come down,” said Hexley.

College student Coleman Reader heard about the event from a radio ad by the City of Calgary.

“I don’t want to rely on the bank to pay for my tuition and so I want to work over the summer, make all the bank I can pay for my schooling,” he said.

Inflation has been affecting jobs for young people all over Canada. Alberta’s youth unemployment rate is at 11.30 per cent, which is higher than the long-term average of 11.08 per cent reported by Ycharts.

The government temporarily removed the cap of 20 hours per week work limit for the international students who landed last year.

“I have been looking for a minimum-wage job for almost four months and expenses keep messing up my monthly budget,” said Navjeet Kour, an international student.

Several interview booths were also made for the convenience of employers. They could pick one candidate and have a quick private interview on the spot.

Coleman Reader, a college student, looking for a summer job during Calgary’s Youth Hiring Fair at The Big Four Building, Calgary on April 6,2023. Entry-level postings were also open for young students in Calgary. (Photo by Sumeet Singh/The Press)
About Sumeet Singh Sidhu 7 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Sumeet Singh Sidhu is working as a writer for The Press in 2023.