The eyes of Irish job applicants have been smiling for Prince George, so IPG is going back to the Emerald Isle to invite more to move here.
Initiatives Prince George is travelling to Ireland and Northern Ireland from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 as part of a provincial trade delegation focused on attracting skilled labour to local job openings. The delegation is called the Western Canada Construction Job Expo with stops in Dublin and one in Belfast. The primary organizer of the trip is the B.C. Construction Association (BCCA).
"A group of five employers and one representative from Initiatives Prince George (IPG) will travel to Ireland later this month in search of qualified employees to fill vacant jobs that employers have been unable to fill locally," said Melissa Barcellos, Economic Development Officer at IPG.
One of those employers, Stinger Welding, if going on the Ireland trip for the second time. They were, along with IPG, part of a similar recruitment mission last year. The welding and fabrication service provider is growing and is looking for welders and steel fabricators to help meet increasing demands for its services.
We were swamped at the two job fairs we attended in Ireland in 2012 and didnt expect to have so many people asking about what its like to live in Prince George, said Willy Manson, president of Stinger Welding Ltd.
Its important that IPG is at the job expo to talk to candidates about life in Prince George so that I can focus on selling my business and career opportunities.
Stinger was confirmed to have hired new people from Ireland into Prince George from last year's event, and Canfor did as well. IPG officials were unsure of numbers due to that being each company's own proprietary knowledge but of the 12 business from B.C. that attended in 2012, IPG could confirm that 160 job offers were made to Irish applicants.
"Part of our core mandate is to grow the population and one of the ways we do that is by attending job fairs to market Prince George to potential new residents," said IPG manager of Marketing and Communications Christina Doll.
"Because the BCCA is organizing the job fair, there are significant cost savings to participate in the Job Expo compared to alternative international job fairs. Each private sector participant will cover their own booth and travel costs. The cost for a booth at both job fairs is about $2,000, which compares to between $5,000 and $10,000 for other international job fairs."
Those other job fairs are attended by regions and companies from all over the world, competing with Prince George for the same candidates to fill jobs in their communities. With billions of dollars in present and near-future potential investment in play, but fewer local candidates than there are jobs, companies are keen to attract employees or suffer slowdowns in their industrial plans.
Based on attendance numbers from the 2012 Western Canada Construction Job Expo, we expect to have access to about 10,000 skilled employees who are actively looking to permanently relocate to Canada, said Barcellos.
Our role will be to support employers during these two job fairs by talking to interested candidates about why Prince George is a great place to live, options for candidates spouses to encourage a full family move, and immigrant support services.