London job fair highlights current market challenges

Increased cost of living and record inflation they are posing challenges for both job seekers struggling to land a well-paying job and employers finding it difficult to fill positions.

With a shortage of workers in certain sectors like trades, employers need to get creative and offer incentives for people to broaden their horizons and work in jobs beyond their reach.

“There is definitely a labor shortage for these types of positions and that is currently our biggest challenge. Right now we have more jobs available than people to fill them,” said Jason Robertson of Clintar Commercial Services in London, Ontario.

Robertson was looking to recruit more snow removal workers and equipment operators for his business at the London and Area Work job fair in White Oaks Mall on Tuesday. More than 45 employers from various industries attended the fair to network with job seekers.

Clintar is adding more part-time positions to provide flexibility for potential employees, Roberston said.

International students Himil Patel, left, and Dhrumil Patel say the lack of part-time job openings makes it difficult for them to find a job that fits their schedule. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

The lack of part-time jobs has been the biggest hurdle for Himil and Dhrumil Patel, both international students at Fanshawe College. The two were at the job fair looking for any job that would align with their busy school schedule.

“It’s definitely hard to find a job, especially part-time,” Dhrumil said. “Studies are also important, so we need to do both to be stable both financially and with our studies.”

The couple said most of the job openings they find are full-time only, so restaurant and retail jobs seem like the best option for them so they can focus on school while still making a living. .

Demand for higher wages

Roberston said the biggest concerns he hears from workers are that hourly wages aren’t enough. And the current state of the economy limits employers in how much they can help, he said.

“These entry-level positions can sometimes feel more difficult, so we try to do what we can as a company, but at the same time we also have to remain competitive with our prices, so it’s a catch for us.”

Sukhman Bath, of aviation manufacturer Diamond Aircraft, has noted a drop in applications for manufacturing jobs. She believes this is due to the demand for higher paying jobs.

Sukhman Bath, middle, and his team at Diamond Aircraft connect with job seekers at the London and Area Works job fair. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

“People are moving abroad now more than ever,” said Bath. “The airline industry is booming post-pandemic, so we’re hiring, but we also have a shortage of qualified candidates because they get better pay with bigger corporations.”

In addition to offering more benefits to its staff, Bath said Diamond is also adding internships for students from all kinds of educational backgrounds looking to gain work experience.

“We’re not completely ruling out experience and talent because we know not everyone has it. Some people have it from other countries, so working with them is beneficial for all of us,” he said.

There is no shortage of opportunities and competition.

Daniela Martinez wants to work in human resources. She believes that there are many job opportunities and that the market is quite competitive, describing it as a “fight for talent.”

Although the high cost of living is the norm for Martinez, who arrived in London from Mexico in January, he has been told by many of his friends that his current salaries do not reflect inflation, he said.

“It’s a challenge, but I think you have to keep looking to have more income,” he said.

Sally Amini arrived in London from Iran three months ago. She is determined to get a job that will get her foot in the door. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

Sally Amini finds that while the competitive nature of the job market makes it difficult for newcomers like her to get a job, it’s not impossible, she said. However, Ella Amini believes that employers need to be more flexible in their job requirements.

“They want someone with a background and experience, that’s why people don’t give out their resumes, but if employers can give them a chance for a few months of training, maybe those people have the potential to flourish and show their performance,” he said. additional.

Both Amini and Martinez say they are open to any type of job that gets them in the door, and if those jobs don’t get them to make ends meet, they would take a side job.

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