NNSL Photo/Graphic

Canadian North

Home page text size buttonsbigger textsmall textText size Email this articleE-mail this page

Job options shown to students
Opportunities in Kitikmeot explored at career fair

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 3, 2014

Kitikmeot students recently got a glimpse at the opportunities that await them after graduation.

For the first time, community organizations, government and industry came together to hold a regional career fair from Jan. 20 to 24.

"The goal, primarily for the students, was to increase graduation rates by demonstrating the advantages of post-secondary education or high-school graduation," said Jim MacEachern, economic development officer for the hamlet of Cambridge Bay and a member of the Kitikmeot Career Fair planning committee.

The event also served to educate Nunavummiut about what kind of jobs are out there, he added.

With mines, for example, residents usually know there are positions for heavy equipment operators but they may not know about the numerous other opportunities available.

"A mine is actually a small hamlet or, in some cases, a large hamlet," said MacEachern. "So you have everything from heavy equipment operators, finance administration, clerical staff, essentially any position you can think of within a municipality is within a mine company."

The fair travelled to all five communities in the region. The first half of each day catered to students while the second half focused on unemployed and underemployed residents.

Numerous businesses set up booths and gave out information on job opportunities, educational requirements and salary rates.

Cambridge Bay teachers challenged their students to pick three careers that interested them and three that didn't.

Many of the students were drawn to the Canadian High Arctic Research Station's (CHARS) booth, said MacEachern.

"It was generating some interest in the sciences."

The career fair planning committee is considering running the event every two years, said MacEachern, adding the event was funded by the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, the Department of Health, the Department of Economic Development and Transportation and the municipalities of Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk.

Gjoa Haven Mayor Allen Aglukkaq, who is a counsellor at Qiqirtaq school, said the event was well received by hamlet residents. He said he would like to see it happen twice a year, during the fall and spring.

"It's good to have a career fair because it shows there's different kind of opportunities for young people to take training and get a career," he said.

"Sometimes (students) don't know what's out there because they don't go out of town."

Grade 10 student James Takkiruq said the event opened his eyes.

He's been considering a career in the mining industry but didn't know about all of the positions available.

He found out he could work as a chef or even as a paramedic at a mine.

He was also pleased to learn what kind of training and courses are offered at Arctic College.

"There was a lot of interesting things," said Takkiruq. "I think it's a great opportunity for students to see what life could be like after high school."

E-mailWe welcome your opinions. Click here to e-mail a letter to the editor.