‘Not your average jobs fair’

What does ‘facilitating collaboration’ and ‘leading co-design’ for youth employment solutions actually look like? The Logan-Beaudesert Community Investment Committee (CIC) in the outer south of Brisbane can show you.

The Logan-Beaudesert CIC hosted their second ‘Launch into health and community care jobs expo’ with over 40 exhibitors, 35 of these being employers across the Health & Community Care industries. Over 600 people attended on the day! The expos have been a huge success thanks to collaboration across the community.

Led by the CIC’s Healthcare Working Group, the expo came about when discussing a recurring problem:

‘How do we get people finishing their courses in front of employers?’

The key criterion for stallholders made the difference:

  • Employers must have jobs available – including non-medical roles like IT, admin, landscaping, and catering.
  • Training organisations can only promote courses relevant to professions in health & community care.

Employment services were invited to attend with their job seekers and support them speaking to stallholders at the event.

The fair was open to everybody, and lots of thought went into how young people would experience the day.

Some of the things that they put in place included:

  • Highly visible Youth Guides and First Nations concierges were available for anyone that needed some support approaching employers, wearing hi-vis. They welcomed and approached people who seemed to be hanging back. The concierge’s role was also explained in the slideshow on repeat all day, with a phone number to text or call.
  • Open doors – not gate keepers – for job seekers: An online registration Google Form helped organisers estimate attendance and plan how crowds would move through the venue, but the event wasn’t ‘ticketed’ and registration wasn’t checked at the door.
  • Sensory relief: the on-the-spot interview rooms were also available for people who needed a sensory relief ‘time out’.
  • Managing expectations: the flyers clearly told job seekers who to bring and what to expect on the day. Organisers told stall holders ‘Please draw young people into conversation. If you see them hanging back, invite them over!’

‘Our results were beyond our expectations!’

Rachel, TransitCare.

The exhibitors collected over 900 expressions of interest on the day, and over 150 conversations led to interviews on the day. 32 people – including 11 young people – gained employment through the expo.

‘Building evidence’ on the day

Expo organisers carried iPads around inviting attendees to do a quick survey. They collected data from attendees about their age, gender, how many resumes they handed out, if they booked any interviews or had any on-the-spot interviews, and what type of roles they were interested in. Of the 103 attendees surveyed, 49% of them were young people.

After the event

Organisers sent a follow up email to stallholders with some of the ‘good news numbers’ and an offer to book for the next expo in November. No doubt they’ll keep getting bigger and better.

Behind the scenes: collaboration is key!

The community centre, local council, local jobs network and committee members all voluntarily shared contact details to potential expo stall holders and promoted the event through their newsletters and networks. They also maintain a shared calendar of job expos between them so that they’re always complementing each other’s work rather than competing.

Want to know more?

Contact Cherie Massey, Lead Coordinator, Logan & Redlands Transition to Work, yourtown
Email: cmassey@yourtown.com.au