There was a large turnout on Tuesday, January 31st for Northside Partnership’s Jobs Fair, an event that brought jobseekers and employers together under the same roof in our Kilbarrack office.
Over 93 jobseekers had the opportunity to meet with employers such as Swissport, Aramark and facilities management company OCS at the event,  which was organised by Northside Partnership’s Greendale Jobs Club and Local Employment Service, at our Kish House office. 
All jobseekers had one thing in common: to get work as soon as possible. “A lot of clients say, I want to find work, but I don’t know where to start,” explained Trish Gaynor, guidance officer at Northside Partnership. “This is a real time networking event where jobseekers get to meet employers face to face.”
During the event candidates flocked to vendor’s stands, handed out their CV’s, and enquired about potential roles. 
Attending the fair was Yvonne Stewart, 33, from Donaghmede. She has 10 years’ experience as a healthcare advisor and a background in pharmacy sales.
“I have been jobseeking for 18 months and seeking a change of direction in administration,” she said. Yvonne completed a diploma in events management last May followed by a business administration course at the ETB Training Centre, Baldoyle in July 2016.  A well-seasoned attendee of larger job expos, she praised the benefits of our smaller, more intimate event. “There is a real opportunity to speak to recruiters and it’s great to have something like this on your doorstep.”
Another participant was Maureen McGrath, 42 based in Kilbarrack. Maureen left school at 16 and following a career in customer service and telesales, trained as a hairdresser at Colaiste Dhulaigh in 2013. However, despite successfully completing a QQI Level 5 certificate, she failed to find a job as a hairdresser. She believes this could be partly down to age discrimination and, “cried for a year and a half” but soldiered on. She now has a keen eye on one of 50 customer service agent roles at Swissport. “I’d love to be the first port of call at the ticket desk, checking customers at the passport and gate,” she beamed. Maureen previously attended Greendale Jobs Club at Northside Partnership and described the experience as, “motivational and fantastic.”
Age not an issue
Meanwhile Peter Ward, 57, never envisioned himself needing to attend a jobs fair.  After 10 years living in Spain and involved in community work, he returned to Ireland in mid-December 2016.  
During his career, he spent 32 years in the Irish Naval Service and Department of Defence, where he was a senior instructor for training military personnel at the Ordnance School.
But upon his return to Ireland last December, Peter found himself looking for work. He attended Greendale Jobs Club in January and has not looked back since. The two-week course offered by Northside Partnership provides jobseekers advice on CV preparation, motivation, interview techniques and communication skills. Peter is now interested in the positions as dispatch services agent or customer service at Swissport.
“Coming from a training background, what I have gained is invaluable,” said Peter adding, “Age doesn’t bother me. Someone younger won’t have the experience I have. Put me on a trial for two weeks and see what I can do.”
On a recruitment drive for carers, Home Instead Senior Care also attended the jobs fair. “We are looking for full and part time caregivers and pay €11per hour,” said HR assistant, Lucy Taylor. The minimum requirements are completion of two QQI modules in care skills and care for the elderly. If the candidate does not already have these qualifications, Home Instead can offer training if they are deemed suitable.
Another recruiter, OCS (Outsourced Client Solutions), said it was thrilled by the enthusiasm shown by candidates at the Jobs Fair. OCS is currently seeking 40 staff to offer assistance to passengers with decreased mobility. The range of equipment for passengers includes wheelchairs, aisle chairs, buggies and ambi-lifts and staff typically walk 10 to 12 kilometres per day and up to 20 kilometres during the ‘Lourdes’ peak season (July to September). Would candidates need to be superman/ woman do this job? 
‘No, our staff come in all shapes and sizes,” smiles trainer Joan Murphy, who is herself under 5 foot tall. “However being physically fit is definitely an advantage. We recruit from the age of 18 and our eldest staff member is 76 and running rings around everyone.”
The event wrapped up with photographs of recruiters and Northside Partnership staff. Funded by the Department of Social Protection and delivered by Northside Partnership, Greendale Jobs Club is a successful service that brings together job seekers who are looking for work. The Local Employment Service is also delivered by Northside Partnership and supports local people looking for work, finding suitable training and writing their CV.
Greendale Jobs Club’s coordinator Jackie Rynn, commented, “This was a brilliant event. It’s fantastic to see employers and jobseekers meeting together and discuss opportunities face to face.”

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