A Kitikmeot career fair will make the rounds during the first week of October but two things will be missing: the region’s largest private employer and a stop in Kugaaruk.
Four communities will be on the schedule from Oct. 2 to 5 – Cambridge Bay, Taloyoak, Gjoa Haven and Kugluktuk, in that order. But Kugaaruk, which lost its school to fire earlier this year and has plenty of construction on the go, simply can’t accommodate the fair.
“It’s too much for right now,” said Michelle Buchan, manager of Inuit employment and training with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, which is spearheading the career fair. “But we are encouraging anybody who’s visiting (Kugaaruk) this year to take an extra moment to promote career awareness.”
TMAC Resources, owners and operators of the Doris North gold mine at Hope Bay, which has close to 300 employees, won’t be participants in the career fair. TMAC is instead going to have its human resources staff visit the Kitikmeot communities alongside its environmental professionals for more elaborate consultations, explained Ann Wilkinson, vice-president of investor relations for the mining company. She noted that some Hope Bay contractors will have a presence at the career fair.
Buchan added that TMAC has been helpful as a member of the career fair’s steering committee and delegates at the career fair will spread the word that the mining company will be holding its own community sessions in the future.
Even without TMAC, there will be close to 30 delegates boarding the charter plane to the Kitikmeot communities. Among those who have committed to take part are: Nuna Logistics; the Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium; Polar Knowledge Canada, which runs the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay; various government departments; Nunavut Arctic College; Laurentian University, which has a mining school in Ontario; and Raytheon, which operates the North Warning System (formerly known as the Distant Early Warning Line, or DEW Line).
“In each community we’re really hoping to get some local organizations, governmental offices, businesses, people that might want to come and promote the careers that are available within their organizations,” Buchan said.
Emphasis at the event will be on career paths rather than immediate recruitment because it’s not a job fair.
“We really want the focus to be on engagement with the public, and focusing on careers and employment and training and encouraging people to reach their goals and dreams,” said Buchan, adding that interactive booths with displays and demonstrations are encouraged.
Presentations will be geared towards students in elementary school, junior high, high school, those in Nunavut Arctic College and the general public, according to Buchan.
Regional career fairs have been held in the past, arranged by the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay and volunteer committees.
“We are a regional organization and we do have a career services department, so we feel it’s a good fit,” Buchan said of the KIA taking the lead.
Various potential funding agencies were being approached in late August to contribute to the initiative, she added.