HUNDREDS of jobseekers who turned up at the Girl’s Guides headquarters on Waterloo Road, St Andrew, on Tuesday, were left disappointed after being told that no job fair was being hosted on the premises.
Some of the people who spoke with the Jamaica Observer on request of anonymity shared that they were notified about the event through several flyers that were circulated on social media platforms.
A flyer obtained by the Jamaica Observer labelled ‘Canadian Job Fair’ indicated that registration would take place in the Girl’s Guides auditorium from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm at a cost of $2,500.
But, a car auction was being held at the headquarters. The man, who was operating that function, said he was confused about people turning up for a job fair.
“I had the place booked for an auction from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm. At first when I came and saw the crowd, I was alarmed. As a matter of fact, I got a call that there was a clash here but when I called operators at Girl’s Guides headquarters, they knew nothing about the job fair and said our auction is still on the books,” he told the Observer.
By about 9:00 am, there were small groups of jobseekers seen with their documents in hand, seemingly anticipating that the job fair would still be held. Some people were also arriving on the scene at that time.
The flyer stated that jobseekers were required to bring copies of their resume, passport, biography and job letter for work opportunities such as housekeeping, security posts, dishwashing and front desk operation.
One woman said that she arrived for the event about 7:30 am and was given make-do waiting tickets by a woman called ‘Latoya’ who seemed to be one of the persons in charge of the job fair.
“A one lady in a pink skirt walk up and down and a write down numbers and me get number 171. We got a flyer on our phone saying that there is a job fair to go to Canada. All me weh neva have a passport, pay for express service to get it,” she said.
“Mi naa lie, mi employed but you know you wa go overseas pon the likkle work and come back, but a just one a dem day deh. They didn’t take our money, but it still disappointing,” the woman added.
Another woman said she was assured by Latoya that the fair was not a scam.
“I got number 194. The lady came with pen and paper and marker well prepared. When mi come she a say she hear rumour say it cancel but she was still giving out numbers. Mi decide seh mi wa go get a better life and mi get a radam,” she said, using the colloquial Jamaican term made popular by the social media commentator known as Peanut Dread.
One man from St Catherine said after working at his current job for 16 years, he was looking forward to a better life in Canada.
“Going to Canada would be a better opportunity. I am disappointed. The best thing is that we didn’t pay money to anybody. We got tricked. Why do people do these things? Misleading your own people is sad,” the dispirited man said.
One woman, also from St Catherine, told the Observer that she started to question the legitimacy of the function when she got there.
“The flyer from today had no contact information. The Girl’s Guides headquarters opens later than the flyer time, so why are you telling us to come before that? There were no tents, no official people. Why would you have people waste their time to come up here and do nothing,” she said.
Another woman added, “Mi feel disappointed. That’s why sometimes you cyaan trust everything you see on social media. I came cause my aunty in Canada sent me. That’s why I came. Mi go through all the procedures ennuh. Mi get everything them request on the flyer.”
The jobseekers said there was another flyer circulating on social media which showed that another Canadian job fair will be held at the Girls’ Guides headquarters on Thursday.
When the Observer contacted the Canadian High Commission in Kingston, a representative who answered the phone told the newspaper that there were no job fair being held as it does not host those functions.
The representative also noted there were several calls made to the high commission querying about a Canadian job fair.