Belfast Telegraph

Outlook buoyant if you want 'real' job

By Lesley Houston

Despite the global economy's impact on the local unemployment line, hundreds of 'real' jobs are there for the taking in Northern Ireland and beyond, employers at a job fair have said

Posts in a vast array of sectors were on offer yesterday at the Department of Employment and Learning's one-day job market at the Europa hotel.

Several hundred people of all ages, keen to bid farewell to the dole queues, visited stalls from recruiters across the Northern Ireland and global health and care sector, IT, hotel and catering, banking and retail fields.

Rebecca Portmann from metals firm Nyrstar Australia said it was keen to recruit from Northern Ireland's well-qualified and trained workforce due to a shortage of electrician, welders, fitters and boiler makers near Adelaide.

"We support people with the transition and help get their Visas sponsored and assist with everything from finding a house to integrating into the culture," she said.

Opportunities were also there to take a leap for a new career and new life in Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland and New Zealand among others.

Polish Masters student Marta Tkacz was one of those seeking a new life in a foreign country - but here.

Hoping to one day find work in her field of finance and accountancy, once her English improves, she is for the moment content to find retail or catering work, to be found in seeming abundance among yesterday's exhibitors.

Tesco's prospects were among the most popular at the fair.

On the IT jobs front, Allstate NI, which provides IT systems for the US's second largest insurer, was among the few firms "bucking the trend" of the economic downturn and actively seeking new recruits.

Its HR official Patrick Kearney said this year witnessed one of its largest expansions, with almost 400 people joining its workforce.