Reopening in Alberta: hospitality sector is ready to hire

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Reopening woes: Alberta’s hospitality sector is ready to hire
As the reopening process continues around Alberta, there's renewed optimism for those looking for steady employment. Sarah Offin checks in on a local hiring fair to explore the prospects in the hospitality sector – Mar 12, 2022

As reopening continues around Alberta, there’s renewed optimism for those looking for steady employment.

A number of hiring fairs are being held around Calgary, including an in-person job fair at National on 10th.

“This is my first time. It’s really exciting. I’m kind of nervous,” said culinary arts student, Laura Danchek. “I haven’t been able to work in an actual restaurant or anything like that because of the pandemic. So it’s really slowed everything down but now that we’re starting to come out of it, I’m excited to dip my toes into the water of the culinary world and try everything out.”

Job shortages in the hospitality industry predated the pandemic. And according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, those challenges have been made worse by repeated closures over the last two years.

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“We are hearing more and more from small business owners that they’re looking to rehire and slowly creep back up to pre-pandemic staffing levels. But of course, that has come with its own set of challenges for business owners,” said Annie Dormuth, the Alberta provincial affairs director with CFIB.

“I was in restaurants for a year. It was on-and-off and on-and-off,” said job-seeker Yanis Bentavel. He came to Calgary after the Montreal restaurant where he was working closed. “And now I’m looking for a job here.”

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Bentavel joined several other prospective hires, resume in hand, chatting with various employers from Corcord Entertainment Group Saturday.

“We are getting a lot of people that originally pivoted from this at the beginning of COVID but kind of decided that being in hospitality and being around people and hosting was kind of their passion,” said regional manager Annie Nguyen. “It’s been super challenging obviously with the uncertainty of this industry, but I mean right now there’s just a really big sense of optimism. People are ready to come out again and have some fun.”

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