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Calgary Youth Employment Fair opens doors for new job opportunities

It’s a great time for youth to find a job, with an economy that is starting to get its groove back, said the spokesperson for Calgary’s Youth Employment Centre.

The Youth Employment Centre is hosting a Youth Employment Fair on April 7 at the Big Four Building. It’s the first in-person event held by the city in the last two years.

The event, located at Stampede Park, boasts more than 70 confirmed employers seeking youth employees. People aged 15-24 are welcome to the fair from 1:30 to 6 p.m. More than 3,500 positions are available.

“It’s a really great time to be a young person looking for employment because of all the opportunities that are available,” said Christina David, a spokesperson for The City of Calgary’s Youth Employment Centre.

Opportunities range from summer jobs to permanent positions, including both full-time and part-time, David said.

“This is the first big event focused for youth that the City now is having in-person since (Covid) restrictions have been lifted,” she said. 

All employers attending the fair are hiring more than 10 positions in a large diversity of industries. This includes warehousing, logistics, hospitality, customer service, office, retail, recreation, and more.

“Now is the time for youth to feel positive about looking for work [in] an economy that is healthy now with lots of different employers in different industries who are hiring,” David said.

Keeping young people in Calgary and Alberta

According to a report by Canada West Foundation, after decades of youth moving to Alberta, the trend reversed in 2016. For the first time since 1988, more youth aged 15-29 moved out of the province than moved in.

Keeping youth in Alberta and attracting them from outside the province are topics of social debate right now.

Hiring fairs are a great first point of contact for youth seeking diverse employment opportunities, David said.

“We really hope that youth come out with that confidence of being able to talk to employers … give them their resume, feel confident … introducing themselves, and they can get help from the Youth Employment Centre in advance,” she said.

The Youth Employment Centre is once again open to the public Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Youth can get help from counselors and look at which employers they might be interested in.

“When a young person is thinking about staying here, there’s so much more than the entry-level positions. They can look at more professional type of careers,” David said.

“Once they learn more skills or get experience, there are so many positions available now that it’s a good time for a young person to find employment in Calgary.”

Connecting with Calgary youth

The report showed youth inside and outside of Alberta have perceptions of the province that don’t reflect current realities. It said Alberta is seen by many youths as being associated with oil and gas (perceived negatively), conservative and intolerant.

The study found that youth in Alberta, Vancouver and Toronto believe Alberta does not offer a variety of career choices. Another perception is that the province lacks vibrancy and diversity.

“Now that we’re able to do this in-person, I think it will allow employers to hire obviously a wider variety of youth, maybe connect with different demographics they couldn’t connect to virtually,” David said. 

David said in-person interactions are extremely valuable to an employer and think they yearn for that connection again.

People can connect with the Youth Employment Centre at their office or on their website.