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Employers entice college students at Ontario's largest student-run job fair


With tourism and hospitality jobs drying up during the pandemic and many employees not returning to reopen, there were plenty of opportunities at Ontario's largest student-run job fair at Georgian College.

"There was a real vacuum in terms of the labour market and hospitality, so these job fairs that we're having are more important than ever," said Bryan Hunt, Georgian College Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation dean.

Students are looking to capitalize on the opportunity created by that void.

"I'm looking for places to grow. Especially in our industry, there's a lot of gaps. There's more opportunities to grow right now because there are less people working in the tourism industry," noted Georgian student Quadad Defreitas.

But students who are looking for more than a summer job say there are hurdles to even getting their foot in the door for a career in today's economic climate.

"It's either they pay minimum wage, or it's in Muskoka or Collingwood. What about housing? Where do I live? I'm qualified for this job, but how do I get there?" said Georgian student Middleton Umolo.

Hunt said it's on employers to entice students to stick around beyond seasonal work.

"Treat them properly, compensate them properly, and then you will build that loyalty to your individual property or company," the hospitality program's dean added.

Hockley Valley Resort's executive chef, a student at the job fair nine years ago, said they are trying to go beyond free golf and skiing to recruit around issues like affordable housing.

"We are super competitive, and we are fulfilling those needs by providing you with that wage. We may be higher than Toronto as well in some aspects," said Iniyan Vijay, Hockley Valley Resort executive chef.

Despite employers expressing difficulties in getting students to attend virtual interviews, the job fair at the Barrie college Tuesday provided them with the opportunity to meet potential employees and build connections in person. Top Stories

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