Several of the country’s leading private sector enterprises will participate in a one-day Job Fair organized by the Rotary Clubs of Georgetown and Demerara on Sunday March 3 in an initiative that seeks to respond to the challenge of scarce skills afflicting affecting the business community.
The Job Fair, which will be held at the Marian Academy School from 09:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs is being spearheaded by the Rotary’s Vocational Services Department is a follow up to the organization’s Careers Fair held annually in October.
Stabroek Business has learnt that among the local business houses that have signalled their intention of participating in the Job Fair are the Princess Hotel, Guyana and Trinidad Mutual Insurance, John Fernandes Ltd, Banks DIH Ltd, Camex restaurants and Scotia Bank.
Past President of the Rotary Club of Georgetown Pradeep Samtani told Stabroek Business that the event seeks to attract job seekers “from across the spectrum”. He said that while he was confident that the Job Fair would result in some measure of recruitment, finding jobs for unemployed persons was not the only objective of the event. “Apart from finding good workers – which, these days are hard to get – we are hoping to provide other job seekers with temporary attachments that can help them prepare for work in the future,” Samtani said.
Rotarian and Insurance Consultant Elizabeth Cox who is a member of the group organising the Job Fair said that the event will also focus on providing job-seekers with information on a range of relevant issues including writing a curriculum vitae, writing job applications, completing job application forms and dressing for and coping with job interviews. Another component of the initiative, Cox says, will be the creation of a tracking system that will help the Rotary to evaluate the exercise and determine the degree of its success.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand has been invited to deliver the feature address at the start of the event while a representative of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development will deliver an address to participants on entrepreneurship.
Local business enterprises and both the Private Sector Commission and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) have continually expressed concern over the scarcity of skills in a range of areas including accountancy, management, mechanical engineering and information technology. The high demand for these skills elsewhere in the region and further afield coupled with uncompetitive salary levels in Guyana continue to generate a high degree of outward migration.
Some companies have sought to overcome this problem by offering scholarships in particular disciplines for employees to study at the University of Guyana and other tertiary institutions after which they are contracted to work with the awarding enterprise for a stipulated period.
A release issued by the Rotary says that it seeks to attract more than 100 job-seekers to the event. According to the release, the fair will enable prospective employers to screen candidates for existing or future job openings as well as to enable them to introduce themselves as desirable places to work and to promote their company. “At the very least, companies will get exposure at job fairs, while at the most they can make rapid hires of highly qualified applicants,” the release says.
Rotary Vocational Services Committee member Dr Deborah Patterson-Skeete told Stabroek Business that this year the Rotary Club of Georgetown decided to elevate its customary Career Fair, which targeted schools, “to another level”.