Hundreds of opportunities on offer at jobs fair
HUNDREDS of jobs were on offer from Bristol employers at a job fair held in St Paul's.
Yesterday's event, organised by national charity Tomorrow's People, gave jobseekers the chance to meet face to face employers recruiting in Bristol. Businesses from a range of sectors attended the fair, including the care, catering, security, driving, construction, admin and warehousing sectors.
Tomorrow's People has helped more than 400,000 people into employment or education or training since 1984.
Gary Taylor, 36, of Grove Park, Brislington was once a jobseeker using their services, but yesterday appeared at the fair as a stall holder recruiting for shoe care and hardware store Timpson.
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Mr Taylor said: "I was unemployed for four or five years, and I've been working at Timpson for about a year now. Having a job has greatly improved my life. I couldn't be happier."
One lucky jobseeker was hired on the spot at the jobs fair. Garfield Hunte, 49, of Tilling Road, Horfield secured a job with Drive Hire Bristol and was due to start work today.
Mr Hunte said: "I've been job hunting for about five months. I've had a few job offers which fell through, so job seeking can be very up and down. I just wanted some stability.
"I'm excited to start work. My partner and my son will be pleased to hear my good news."
The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Geoffrey Gollop, attended the event and met some of the employers and 219 job seekers.
Mr Gollop said: "Events like these are very important because although it can be easy for people with jobs to find another job, it's very difficult to get a job once you're unemployed. This fair is providing a real opportunity for people to meet with employers who recognise that there are incredibly dedicated people looking for work.
"For me it's about opening up jobs markets for those who currently don't have work. We have heard some fantastic success stories and that's what today is all about."
David Henshaw, operations manager for Tomorrow's People, said: "This event is a different take on your normal jobs fair. Every employer here has come with live vacancies that need to be filled, so it's not speculative. The jobseekers each have jobs coaches who can liaise with the employers to find positions that are suited to the experience the individual has."
Alex Johnston, project head for Tomorrow's People said: "People have the misconception that there aren't any jobs. They get demotivated by the fact that their only contact is with the job centre and notice boards and not with employers themselves. Most applications are online and jobseekers often don't get replies or get any feedback and they start to think, 'Why should I bother?'
"At this event they can get feedback from employers and they can look at jobs that are more suitable for them. It takes the fear out of the jobs applications process which a lot of jobseekers experience; motivation is the key thing.
"I think employers are impressed with the people they've met today and many are leaving with a list of candidates they'll be seeking to interview or to bear in mind for other roles.
Employers at the fair included Leadbitter, CostCo, Driver Hire and the Co-Operative, recruiting for a new distribution centre in Avonmouth.