Over 600 job seekers from the New South Wales Mid North Coast explored current local job opportunities at a virtual job fair on 27 May.
Despite the significant economic conditions Australians are wrestling with due to COVID-19, 30 exhibitors were online, including more than 20 local employers, to discuss their job and apprenticeship opportunities.
As well as job opportunities, the fair provided an opportunity for job seekers to access online resources and presentations to help them improve how they look for a job and to get advice on where the jobs market is trending in their local area.
Attendees had the opportunity to find out what skills employers are looking for and value, and to discover what career pathways are available with a vocational education and training (VET) qualification.
The success of the fair was marked by over 4,500 visits to the virtual booths on display, 192 job applications submitted on the day and 2,376 views of available presentations.
Prior to COVID-19, job fairs held around the country have been extremely successful with over 30,000 people attending fairs hosted by the department over the last two years.
Moving to a virtual platform is an innovative response to the various challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The fair brought together job seekers and local businesses looking to hire, just like a regular job fair.
On the day more than 500 jobs were on offer, including opportunities in aged care, construction, defence, and emergency services, as well as apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.
Feedback from both exhibitors and job seekers was positive. For one Mid North Coast business, the virtual aspect of the fair helped them deal with a major recruitment challenge.
“It’s a fantastic concept! I’m time poor and I was able to chat with multiple job seekers from the comfort of my office,” the business owner said.
Job seekers were similarly excited by the online capability. “I hope it’s a regular thing. I could view businesses and apply for jobs from the comfort of my own home,” one participant said.
Coming out of the job fair participants were in a better position to capitalise on opportunities in their current job market and receive advice about emerging industries.
The Mid North Coast event was the second virtual job fair the Australian Government has hosted online.