Successful South Donegal Jobs and Career Advice Fair 2016 draws over 2,000 participants.

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More than 2,000 job seekers and career changers poured into the Abbey Hotel recently to attend a South Donegal Jobs and Career Fair 2016 featuring 40 mainly local employers and 20 education and training programmes.      The fair, which was co-sponsored by Donegal Local Development (DLDC) and the Department of Social Protection (DSP), offered participants the chance to apply for full and part-time employment, as well as to explore new career directions.      All of the local employers present had jobs on offer, including in health, medical, retail, IT, tourism, hospitality, food, Defence Force, An Garda Síochána, home help, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical positions.      “We made a point of sourcing local employers who actually had jobs available so the fair would be as helpful as it possibly could to participants,” said Louise Brogan, DLDC Employment and Enterprise Co-ordinator. “We mixed the employers’ stands in with those of education and training providers that could assist people entering a new career or up-skilling themselves in a current one. There was something there for everybody. One of the many successes of the day was letting people see that it’s worthwhile to put themselves out there again.”

The function room at in the hotel where the Career Fair was held was overflowing with people visiting the 60 exhibition stands and scrutinising a “Job Wall” which listed hundreds of additional employment opportunities across Ireland, the E.U., and beyond. Assistance with career guidance and CV writing was also available.      Comments on evaluation forms collected during the fair indicate that participants found it to be very helpful. “Much more interesting and more work opportunities than expected; very friendly and helpful staff,” one wrote. “Helpful, has given me an idea of what employers expect,” wrote another. “I have gone home feeling refreshed in my task to find employment,” a third wrote. “Hope this event comes back again soon, it helped me so much,” wrote a fourth participant.      Co-sponsorship of the fair by DSP reflects the expansion which the Department has undergone in the past several years. “In addition to providing weekly payments to jobseekers, the Department, through its local Intreo Centres, offers a range of education, training, and personal development programmes to help jobseekers get back to work,” said Anne Curran, DSP Case Officer for Donegal Town. “We were therefore delighted to co-host the Jobs and Career Fair 2016.”      Intreo Employment Services provide career guidance and resources with access to job vacancies, online CV profiling for employers from Ireland and throughout Europe, and an effective CV-to-job matching facility at Jobs Ireland.

DLDC’s programmes include services for people who are unemployed, small business/enterprise start-up support, community development, training and education, rural transport, and youth development.      Local support for the fair included an endorsement issued by former GAA Manager Jim McGuinness, who stated: “One of the secrets of achieving your goals is to recognize that it is going to be challenging. The truth is that if you believe you can, you probably can—you just need a plan and to be prepared for some hard work along the way. The Jobs and Career Fair 2016 is a great opportunity to start your plan.”