The Cloverdale WorkBC spring job fair kicked off with a large crowd this afternoon (May 2). The fair, organized in partnership with the Cloverdale Learning Centre (CLC), was hosted in recognition of Surrey Youth Week, which runs from May 1–7.
“Wonderful turn out today,” said Cheryl Scardifield, WorkBC program manager. “Sixty job seekers within the first hour.”
“The spring job fair is a great opportunity for job seekers to meet a number of local employers who are currently hiring,” she said.
Representatives from local Starbucks, McDonalds, Shack Shine and MaxSys locations set up booths and spoke to interested high school students from the Cloverdale area and beyond, accepting applications and conducting interviews on the spot.
The majority of the students came from CLC, a short walk down the street, but students from Tamanawis Secondary, Clayton Heights Secondary and Fraser Heights Secondary School also attended.
This is the first job fair partnership between CLC and WorkBC, and Susan Johnson, who is a CLC career development facilitator, said it turned out to be a “great opportunity” for her students.
“They’re in the building, they see the resources, they know that they can come here on their own,” said Johnson. “This is a good transition to adulthood, for our grads especially.”
“That’s often the piece that’s missing at graduation, kids are kind of lost after they get their diploma, and they go, ‘now what?’” she said. “[Now] they know after they graduate, that there’s another resource out there.”
“If [a student] is not going to post-secondary, then this is an option,” said Stephanie Pritchard, WorkBC community engagement coordinator. “And it isn’t just for job searching, it’s also for career explorations.”
Youth are also able to take career assessments, and find information and support for trades training and other local job programs at the WorkBC Employment Services Centre, located at 5783 176A Street.
The Pathfinder Youth Centre Society’s CLBC Skills for Life program is one of the initiatives that comes recommended not only by Johnson and WorkBC but by the students themselves.
The program works in partnership with the student’s school to give them both job experience and school credits.
Lucas McDonald, who is a Grade 12 student at CLC, recently completed the Pathfinder program and said he’d “absolutely” recommend it.
“Even when I was just starting out the program, I took to it immediately,” he said. “I loved it, I still talk to my co-workers, I still talk to the people that I was in the program with. It was a very safe space.”
The Pathfinders program helps students create resumes and cover letters, and provides interview training, including mock interviews and group interviews.
“They make you extra prepared for it,” said McDonald.
But it isn’t just about finding a job, it’s about building life skills.
“It’s a job experience, but you also learn about stress management on the job, and making sure you take care of yourself,” said McDonald, adding that the group learned skills such as keeping up with nutrition through stressful work situations and more.
For more on employment services for youth, visit: www.workbc.ca/Resources-for/Youth.