“Help wanted” signs may not be as common in Okanagan business windows and roadside signs as they once were, but Shawn Swallow knows they’ll be back.
A slowing economy has reduced the number of jobs being filled these days, but that has opened up new opportunities for employers seeking university students, says Swallow, associate director of career services and co-op education at UBC Okanagan.
“There are fewer companies recruiting on campus, but that creates a vacuum of sorts,” says Swallow. “The absence of some companies allows employers who are recruiting on campus to reach the top talent with less competition.”
As recently as last summer, businesses were scrambling to find employees, and students from UBC Okanagan were in high demand – for part-time and full-time work, he notes.
“This downturn is temporary and that’s why Okanagan employers continue to pay close attention to university students – and the annual UBC Okanagan Job Fair – as a valuable source of future employees,” Swallow says.
The Job Fair, set for March 10 in the UBC Okanagan gymnasium from 10 a.m. to 3p.m., is organized by the Career Services office each year to provide a venue for students to meet potential employers.
This June, hundreds of UBC Okanagan students will graduate — they’re among the more than 5,300 UBC Okanagan students pursuing UBC degrees in disciplines ranging from engineering to elementary education.
“The spring Job Fair is a tremendous opportunity for employers to connect with these students,” says Swallow. “Participation is strong – it’s a good signal that employers see real benefits in maintaining their ties with the university student community.”
The list of more than two-dozen major exhibitors in the March 10 Job Fair includes Valley First Credit Union, the Okanagan Science and Technology Council (OSTEC), Peter Kiewit Sons, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, and the Certified General Accountants Association of B.C.
For information about exhibiting at the Job Fair, visit the Job Fair 2009 website — www.ubc.ca/okanagan/students/careers — or contact UBC Okanagan Career Services at 250-807-9250.
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