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Help for job hunters

Published: 
Sunday, April 29, 2018

Faced with a difficult job market, people seeking employment in T&T have to be constantly searching for ways to connect with potential employers. However, job hunting is a challenge because of the current economic situation.

Melissa Gordon, unemployed and single, who left her last job at a call centre when she had a baby, has been trying without success for the last six months to find a new job.

“I have six O’Levels and I’m also certified in accounts skills,” the 24-year-old Arima resident said.

“I worked my last job in a call centre for almost a year but had to leave because I have a young baby. I think the baby is big enough to leave with a baby sitter or family member, so I’m pounding the pavement again looking for work.”

Gordon said she has applied for jobs at dozens of places, including fast-food restaurants.

She said: “People just tell me that I’ve been short listed, or they don’t have vacancies. Some people tell me the economy in the country not good and things hard all around.”

She now plans go the Ministry of Labour which has a unit that matches job seekers with a database of employers.

“There are has some recruitment agencies I want to go for help with getting a job,” Gordon said.

“I already called the Ministry of Labour and I’m going in to them soon with my academic qualifications and other documents. I am going to every nook and cranny to find a job. I have a young baby to take care of and feed.”

Gordon said she has friends who are also facing challenges in getting jobs.

“I know a lot of people who went to school with me, who did training with me and some of them looking for jobs too. It’s not a walk in the park to get a job these days. It’s almost like you have to have friends in high places to get a job,” she said.

An employer’s market

Part of the problem is T&T’s saturated job market, said Sandra Fanovich a recruitment specialist at Port-of-Spain agency RecruitmentXperts Ltd. She described changing trends in the job market.

“The introduction of free tertiary education more than a decade ago has resulted in a job market that is saturated with qualified professionals,” Fanovich explained.

“This scenario, coupled with the fact that there are fewer job opportunities due to the on-going economic downturn, has given rise to what many refer to as an employer’s market. Job seekers are therefore left with very few options and have been accepting job opportunities outside of their field of study, as well as lower salaries.

“Most of the available positions are short and long-term contracts which sometimes evolve into permanent positions. This trend started in 2014 but has progressively gotten worse.”

RecruitmentXperts Ltd, which began operations in June 2011, provides recruitment and payroll services to local, regional and international companies.

The agency does not charge a fee to job seekers.

Fanovich said in recent months there has been an increase in the number of job seekers registering with the agency and she said efforts are being made to assist as many applicants as possible.

Matching job seekers with employers

The Ministry of Labour’s National Employment Service Unit (NES) was established specifically to connect employers with job seekers.

In addition to local companies, the NES has formed partnerships foreign organisations for job opportunities within and beyond T&T. Its services are provided at no cost to employers or job seekers, which is a distinct competitive advantage.

Employers get help with finding the right fit to meet staffing needs. Potential candidates are pre-screened and their educational, skills and work related competencies are assessed. Requests for staff are carefully matched with suitable candidates who are then shortlisted and referred for interviews and assessments.

The NES also helps prepare young people for employment by partnering and participating in world of work (WOW) seminars externally.

Through internal WOW seminars, job seekers get career guidance, as well as coaching in résumé writing, interview techniques and understanding self.

The agency also offers on-the-job training through a pre-employment programme which offers participants ages 16-35 an induction into the world of work and focuses practical occupational skills and experience within public and private institutions.

The programme facilitates placement of trainees for a maximum of 24 months at the following rates:

• Level 1—CXC, craft level training—$2,750
• Level 2—CAPE, A’Level, diploma—$3,960
• Level 3—Associate degree—$4,950
• Level 4—Undergraduate degree—$6,875
• Level 5—Postgraduate degree—$7,920

Where to get help

Job seekers can write, email or call the NES via the telephone, or visit any of its offices across the country

Email: [email protected]
Head Office:
Tower C, Levels 5 & 6
International Waterfront Centre,
1A Wrightson Rd Port-of-Spain
PBX 625-8478
Duke Street
Duke Place Levels 1-6
50-54 Duke Street, Port-of-Spain
Tel: 299-0300
Chaguanas
Cor John & Lange Sts, Montrose, Chaguanas
PBX 665-6658
San Fernando
40-42 St James St, San Fernando
Levels 3&4
PBX 652-3181
Tobago
Gulf City Mall, Lowlands, Tobago
Tel: 635-0944 / 660-7891
Tunapuna
16-20 Eastern Main Road,
ANVA Plaza, Tunapuna
165 Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna
Tel: 663-2352 / 645-8261 / 645-8695
Sangre Grande
Brierly Street, Sangre Grande
Tel: 668-2643
Point Fortin
#69 Main Road, Point Fortin
Tel: 648-5810
Siparia
Siparia Administrative Complex, Corner
Allis Street and SS Erin Road, Siparia.
Tel: 649-2481 / 649-0982

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