Friday, September 21, 2012
Spent 5 hours today in Pincher Creek at the much touted Jobs Fair. For weeks now we have been inundated with newspaper ads, flyers, brochures, web, Facebook, and municipal sites/ads and news articles telling us about this upcoming Jobs Fair in which Northern Alberta Oil & Gas and Mining companies were apparently looking to fill at least 650 job vacancies.
During the time I was there I would be surprized if more than 300 job seekers with resumes in hand attended this event. By rights, statistically speaking, they all should have been given a job, right there on the spot, myself included. But no one was!?
For all the time I was there I never heard or saw one person being offered a position with any of the minuscule 4 companies present. All they did was have a very brief conversation with each applicant and then stick their resumes on top of other resumes in one big pile (most of which received only a cursory glance at best, if that), while advising people to go to their websites for more information or to apply directly for posted positions. Several people including myself inquired what was the point of us meeting face-to-face (Posted advertisements: "Meet face-to-face with Northern Alberta employers!") when nothing comes from it?
The two hour plus information session put on by Alberta Works showcasing the oil & gas industry up in Fort McMurray, although providing some useful information, came across to me personally as more of a PR (propaganda) exercise (stunt) selling the oil & gas industry's future proposed pipelines to B.C. and Texas, environmental integrity, good stewardship, and most importantly, rallying the troops behind the oil & gas industry in anticipation of good times to come (in return for supporting them in future battles to come a.k.a. bribery) for Southern Albertans, than in any tangible and concrete methods, or ways, of actually getting a real job up there.
While there I spoke to quit a few people including some who came from Calgary and Lethbridge, and surrounding areas. A couple of them told me they had been to other Job Fairs that were nothing like this one. To them, this one was a joke... a 'farce'.
The handful of companies only in attendance, the PR Information Session, and lack of job offers, suggested this had more to do with some other kind of agenda than in seriously seeking workers for the oil patch. Maybe it was a litmus test to gauge public and industry interest in, possibly, actually employing people in the future from down south here, while utilizing the Pincher Creek airport? But not at this time.
It certainly came across that way. That is, they weren't really serious about hiring people today. More like testing the waters for the future.
Meanwhile, some of us are really disappointed and feel like we have been used. I know I feel that way. :-(
If anyone can shed a better light on this, please do. As I hate to think we are nothing more than guinea pigs to be toyed and played with by corporatist governments having an agenda that is anything but providing real jobs (at this time), in an area hard-pressed for opportunities to make a decent living... even if it means working far from home, in an area hundreds of miles away.
People here want work. What they don't want is to be jerked around by their local, provincial and federal governments more interested in using desperate people in PR stunts (like Harper's 'Action Plan' billboards that have flooded the country providing jobs to sign makers only) than in providing real jobs.
They are all masters at pissing on our leg, and then while smiling, tell us "it must be raining!