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Students attend ‘reverse job fair’ in Winnipeg to pitch skills to employers

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Reverse job fair
What's a reverse job fair? We take you to a unique and innovative event aimed to change the job search process – Jun 5, 2024

A job fair with a twist was hosted in Winnipeg, with the hope of connecting young adults with future work.

On Wednesday, dozens of upcoming high school grads gathered for a “reverse job fair” at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights to pitch their resumes, in person, to potential employers.

Meaghan Jones, a teacher with Project SEARCH Winnipeg — one of the organizations co-ordinating the event — said there were about 43 jobseekers and 50 employers registered.

She said reversing who sits on what side of the table is important for neurodiverse jobseekers.

“One of the challenges that a lot of our jobseekers face is fear around accessible employment and stereotypes around what kind of skills our jobseekers may or may not have,” she said.

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“With the reverse job fair, really what we’re saying is, ‘Hey, come in, just learn about accessible employment. It’s stress-free, low pressure. Let our students do a lot of the heavy lifting that would be attached to a typical job fair.'”

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Jones said where some students struggle to find opportunities to share their work experiences during an interview, the reverse job fair style brings the interview to them.

“We have a number of grads who graduated in the last few years who are underemployed, or who have been struggling to find employment. They’re here as well, showcasing their skills and experience,” she said.

Jobseekers who were present are open to work in a variety of industries, like child care, retail and clerical work, Jones said.

Corinne Hachman is looking for a stocking and organization job, and said she is grateful to explain her skills to people hiring.

“I want young adults, and myself, to look for a career for people who went to high school, or … if they’re struggling, or if they have autism,” she said. “It’s good for (employers) to know so that they can help them and support them as much as they need it.

“That’s why it’s important for me and others to find a job so that they can keep it. Or if they don’t like it, they can always change it.”

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Hachman looks forward to her next big life step.

“I really hope that one day I will find a job that will make me happy, and just that I will move with my life,” she said.

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