CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Job fair a booming success

By Stephen Knight
Special to The Sun

The National Job Fair & Training Expo just keeps getting bigger. The sixth and most recent edition of the event, held April 6 and 7 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, brought together hundreds of employers, recruiters, speakers and agencies as well as some 15,000 job seekers.
The sixth edition of the National Job Fair & Training Expo welcomed more than 15,000 job seekers.

"The sixth edition of the event was the best ever," says Daniel Levesque, president of The National Job Fair Inc. "This was the biggest turnout yet and we are very proud of that."

Presented by in collaboration with the Toronto Sun and the Ontario government, the event featured 18 speakers as well as presentations, seminars and a host of other employment resources for job seekers, including about 3,000 positions looking to be filled. With some 120 booths and 110 exhibitors from about 40 different job sectors, there was no shortage of opportunities for those looking for a job, a change or a new career path.

"Job seeker in mind"

"They really had the job seeker in mind because the event was extremely well organized -- having a road map that clearly identified where each pavilion was located, the ease of moving from area to area and from employer's booth to employer's booth as well as the helpful reminders over the PA system," says Jocelyn Beckles, an employment coach at JobStart.

Beckles says the ability for job seekers to network and market their skills in a non-threatening environment is key and the National Job Fair & Training Expo met that need.

As any job seeker knows, there are lots of good jobs out there and lots of good candidates, but that doesn't mean a match will be made. Potential employees and employers need common ground on which to meet, and The National Job Fair & Training Expo provided the ideal venue.

The event featured an Employment Pavilion, the Training and Education Pavilion, the Employment & Career services Pavilion, the Biz Launch Self-Employment Pavilion, Jobs Avenue, the Internet Area and a Public Presentation Area.

Beckles says the growing use of the Internet and the Internet Area were beneficial to employers and potential employees alike. "As a coach, you are always looking for new topics, ideas and materials to help your clients," she says.

In addition to the hundreds of private companies at the event, the Ontario government was on site to promote rewarding careers in the skilled trades and the different ways students and job seekers can access apprenticeship training.

Key role

"The Ontario government plays a key role in The National Job Fair & Training Expo, and their continued participation and support are an important part of our success," says Levesque. "The general public benefitted once again from the government's participation, offering the opportunity for direct and easy access to the career services they will be promoting on site."

Though the National Job Fair & Training Expo is an important part of the equation for both employers and job candidates, it is by no means the final step.

"Be positive, outgoing, enthusiastic and patient -- those are the four big things," Levesque says. "It's also important to do a follow-up with exhibitors after the show."

The event happens twice a year, in the spring and the fall. The next edition will be held September 14 and 15.

For more details on the event, check out their website at

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