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If you’re a student looking for meaningful employment during a time when it seems scarce, you are in luck.

Beyond 2020: Vancouver Island Career and Connections Fair is a virtual job fair co-organized by VIU, Royal Roads University, North Island College and Camosun College. The all-day event takes place on November 19 and registration is open now for students and employers.

Vanessa Stratton is a project manager and Work-Integrated Learning faculty member in VIU’s Centre for Experiential Learning. She explained in a VIU media release that Beyond 2020 is a first-of-its-kind virtual event where several institutions are working together to connect students to employers that may not have had contact otherwise.

“With COVID hitting local businesses hard, we’re hearing from employers that they are struggling to find qualified individuals to fill the roles needed to help with recovery, and we’re also hearing from students that there are fewer employment opportunities available. So, there’s this gap that we hope to bridge with this event,” Stratton wrote.

Stratton stresses the quality of employment and need for quality employees.

“Students come with industry-specific education and skills, and by hiring students, you can reduce your recruitment costs through specialized funding and grants and other incentives. It’s a win-win situation as employers capitalize on student knowledge and students gain the opportunities they need to be successful,” she said.

Registration is open to all students of the institutions mentioned above, as well as recent graduates. The event aims to be easily accessible for students, with free registration and the ability to attend from mobile devices.

Students are asked to customize their profile upon registering, which includes uploading resumes and listing top skills. Potential employers can look at this information before deciding to have a virtual face-to-face meeting. Students can also engage in an “informal networking room” and virtually visit exhibitor booths.

Sean Aiken is the keynote speaker for Beyond 2020. After graduating in 2007, Aiken experimented by doing 52 jobs in 52 weeks to find his ideal job, which ranged from firefighter to fashion buyer. He will be one of several speakers who will reflect on the reality for students entering the workforce during COVID-19.

Register here to participate.

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