Sem Ta Route fair draws hundreds of job applicants

MARIGOT–The Employment Office (Pôle Emploi) and Association Sem Ta Route, the insertion arm for Semsamar, organised a job fair in the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning where many young unemployed persons, and older persons, took advantage of on-the-spot interviews with potential employers.

In keeping with the constructions needs of the territory following the hurricanes, it was appropriate that this job fair focused entirely on jobs in the construction field. Some 40 construction companies, local and from Guadeloupe, set up desks for the interviews. Other desks were manned by counsellors giving information on contracts, financial assistance, or help in compiling a resumé.

“The job fair is organised once a year by Sem Ta Route, and this year is the first time it has taken on such a grand dimension due to the recent events,” said Employment Office representative Myrtha Sandrine Paines-Marks “The goal is to enable businesses seeking workers in the construction field to meet with local job seekers who are available and registered at the Labour Office.

“Our job consists of contacting and selecting potential candidates and preparing them to meet these employers for a brief interview of three to five minutes duration. Because of the large number of interviews to get through, it’s vital the candidate is well-prepared and gives a good impression in those few minutes.”
She said more than 500 persons were registered at the end of 2017 as seeking work in the construction field.

“We first contacted those who had experience in the construction sector and who were qualified, but also invited the others to enrol in training programmes to meet needs not being met,” she said. “There are over 80 job positions available in construction at the Labour Office for which we are having difficulty filling.

“The State, in collaboration with the training centres and companies, is committed to organising training programmes so that younger people can fill those positions. The average age of those registered at the Labour Office is 44, and about 45 per cent of those looking for work in construction are over 50. It’s a sector that needs much more manpower and more qualified workers.”

Sem Ta Route Director Karen Kelly-Mamie said Semsamar has a clause in its social insertion contracts with companies doing construction, obligating them to hire young people to at least 40 per cent of the workforce.

“Sem Ta Route is a facilitator helping companies to find workers and helping young people to find jobs,” she explained. “As an association we also control the companies to be sure they respect the insertion clauses. In the context of Irma it’s more important than ever to place young people in jobs for the reconstruction of the territory. Some 600 persons registered for jobs with Sem Ta Route after Irma. It’s also important that companies offer on-the-job training to invest in the future.”

Asked how his interview went, one young man, Jean (22), said: “I thought it went well. I’m looking for a painting job. Since the hurricane I’ve been unemployed. Before I used to work in a shop. But now I want to help build back the island.”

Source: The Daily Herald