SEVERAL hundred people were in attendance at the third annual Fermanagh Jobs and Careers Fair at the South West College on Friday.
The event was organised by the college in association with the Fermanagh Herald and ‘Business in the Community’ (BITC).
Official figures show that there were over 600 at the event, visiting a range of exhibitors across the public and private sector.
HR Manager for the Fermanagh Herald (North West News Group), Julie Hetherington, explained: “The event provided a forum for employers and support services to raise their profile to the community and provided an opportunity for Fermanagh folk to approach employers in an informal setting to ask about current and future employment opportunities.
“Employers unanimously agreed the event was a success, and those who attended on the day gained access to information and support in the event of seeking a new job or employment opportunity.”
Adrian Cullen, group operations manager at Cooneen Group, was in attendance.
“We’re trying to find local talent,” he explained, “We have had had very good experiences over the past number of years trying to attract great local talent and we think it’s a fantastic opportunity to expose our company to the local area.
“We obviously want someone that’s motivated, someone that has done research on the company – anybody that has the knowledge and skills to drive themselves forward,” he added.
Kelly Gileece, HR at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, felt it was important to recruit locally:
“We’re trying to make sure that the people who work for us are people who know the community, and can provide our guests with local experience.”
Lorraine Thompson, HR assistant Balcas, described the event as ‘crucial’.
“I think it’s been a very good day – there have been a lot of students who have put in a lot of preparation into coming along and asking for work placements,” she said.
“We have had a few people who have been actively looking for work.
“I think it’s crucial – I don’t think people always realise in the local area just how much industry there is and how much business is out there. For someone who is looking work, it gives them a snapshot of the full breadth of positions and jobs that are available.”
And, Caroline McCaffrey, HR manager with the Quinn Group explained: “We are delighted to see that there is still great talent and skills available in the Fermanagh area. It’s very important that businesses have jobs available and can retain the talent in the local area.”
She added: “It’s been very positive, with good people very keen to work.”