That was the general consensus expressed by employers looking to hire, and MOSAIC staff, as they described the massive turnout at the 11th annual MOSAIC Job Fair.
The signature event made a return to in-person at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver on May 9 — its first since 2019 following online job fairs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There was a turnout of over 3,400 attendees — the largest crowd ever recorded by MOSAIC in 11 years — up from 1,300 virtual attendees in 2022. The event hosted over 70 employers from various industries including business, healthcare, hospitality and construction.
As Canada expects to welcome around 500,000 newcomers per year until 2025, the event created an opportunity to attract potential newcomer talent from around the Metro Vancouver area.
“Within the next decade, immigrants could represent about half of Canada’s total population, and they will soon represent 100 per cent of the growth of our labour force,” said Olga Stachova, MOSAIC CEO.
According to provincial government statistics, B.C. saw nearly 130,000 job vacancies in the province as of January 2023.
David Lee, Director of Employment, Language and Social Enterprise at MOSAIC, said the turnout was “beyond expectations.”
“People have been looking for a chance to connect face-to-face and you can tell by the number of people here today, the energy, and all of the different conversations [in both exhibition rooms], it’s amazing.”
Lee added he believes that with the labour shortage in the Canadian job market, employers must diversify their methods of recruitment when seeking newcomer talent.
“There’s a need to find people to fill positions in all sorts of ways, across all sectors,” Lee said. “I think a key part of that is going beyond what we assume we need in a typical employee. We need to be more creative around how we find people, and how we support people into the workforce.”
Among the various job exhibitors, recruiters such as Angela Marshall at First Onsite Property Restoration, with operations in both Canada and the United States, was pleased with the job seeker turnout.
“It’s incredible, I cannot believe this turnout.” Marshall said. “There are lineups around the block with so many different job seekers, with incredible skillsets coming to the table today.”
Marshall added: “I think there’s a labour mismatch, especially looking at how many job seekers there are today, and also maybe the technology is making it harder for job seekers, because I do notice that I get a lot of applications and I can’t seem to get a hold of candidates.”
Mithlesh Kumar was a healthcare professional in India. As a recent graduate with Canadian post-secondary experience, he hopes to secure employment in the Canadian healthcare sector.
“The Job Fair is really good. It’s really interesting to be here, to meet with different employers, to connect with them and I think I have really found some connections here,” Kumar said. “It was a real great experience.”
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