Island job seekers flock to tourism industry event

·2 min read
The tourism job fair was supposed to end at 1 p.m. on Saturday, but there was such a large demand the event went longer. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
The tourism job fair was supposed to end at 1 p.m. on Saturday, but there was such a large demand the event went longer. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

The summer tourism job market on P.E.I. is likely to be a competitive one.

The Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. hosted a job fair at the Delta in downtown Charlottetown Saturday afternoon.

The association expected "maybe 350" job seekers to walk through. But CEO Corryn Clemence said numbers were much higher than expected and surpassed some pre-pandemic years.

"We put through 600 people, so we are thrilled," Clemence said.

"I think in the last few years we've had around 500, so we're actually a little over what we have seen in the last few years."

Corryn Clemence, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., said she wasn't sure if the job fair would happen at some points in the year due to COVID-19.
Corryn Clemence, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., said she wasn't sure if the job fair would happen at some points in the year due to COVID-19.(Tony Davis/CBC)

There were people of all ages and skills. Clemence said the variety of people at the event means many positions may be filled quickly.

The event took months to plan. Clemence said she wasn't sure if it would happen at some points in the year due to COVID-19.

A ballroom at the hotel was divided into four sections. Staff at each entrance ensured that the number of people in each area complied with public health guidance.

Steve Murphy owns two Island restaurants. He planned to hire eight or nine workers but may add more because of the quality of candidates.
Steve Murphy owns two Island restaurants. He planned to hire eight or nine workers but may add more because of the quality of candidates.(Tony Davis/CBC)

Steve Murphy was one of about 40 vendors hoping to hire. He owns two restaurants — Blue Mussel Café and Slaymaker and Nichols.

The big turnout has him considering hiring even more people than the eight or nine he contemplated originally.

"I'll be honest, maybe we weren't quite as ready as we should have been," he said. "Normally this event wouldn't have that many people and this much quality of people.

"We might hire a few more because when you find the right people you really want to commit to that."

Island students Kyle Cotton, left, and Tyler Heggie applied for jobs from food service to retail.
Island students Kyle Cotton, left, and Tyler Heggie applied for jobs from food service to retail.(Tony Davis/CBC)

Holland College student Tyler Heggie and friend Kyle Cotton were out hoping to find a job. Both said they have been unemployed for a while.

Heggie said the competition will be strong. "I'm just shocked at the turnout," Heggie said.

The association plans another job fair for Cavendish in mid-May.

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