Innovation and Technology Association of P.E.I. holds job fair
© Guardian photo
Nancymarie Arsenault, P.E.I. Council for People With Disabilities, and Bob Carbone, Work Links, discuss employment opportunities at the Innovation and Technology Association's IT job fair held at the Atlantic Tech Centre in Charlottetown.
A record number of job seekers and a huge number of unfilled positions kept things busy Wednesday as 18 leading IT firms set up booths to attract new employees during the 6th annual P.E.I. Innovation Technology Job Fair in Charlottetown.
The Innovation and Technology Association (ITAP) hosts the fair each year so prospective employers in the P.E.I. IT sector can attract new employees and prospective employees can view a showcase of employers.
In order for a company to set up a booth at the fair, they must be recruiting for IT-related positions within three months of the fair.
Elizabeth Constable, the co-ordinator of the IT Job Fair, said she’s anticipating over 350 job seekers this year.
“We’re thrilled at this year’s response and the number of positions being recruited for by IT industry employers on the Island,” Constable said.
She said there are over 240 available jobs listed on the IT Job Fair site at www.itap.ca.
The fair began with an address from Mike Gillis, the innovation director for ITAP, and Daniel Lazaratos, president of ITAP.
Evan Jackson, a Holland College student in the CIS (Computer Information Systems) program, says he doesn’t have a specific job in mind, but he came to the fair hoping to find future employment in the IT industry. He attended the fair last year as well.
Gillis is the innovation director for ITAP. He says IT is becoming a more important sector on the Island.
“It is exciting to see how many career opportunities are available to young people who choose to build a career on P.E.I.”
Gillis said he’s particularly pleased that MphasiS, an IT company originally based in Bangalore, India, is recruiting for over 100 positions.
Julien Lavoie, the recruitment coordinator for MphasiS, says most of the jobs are in the development and IT infrastructure fields. Lavoie says the positions include Java developer, net developer, and even Android IOS developer.
One of the employers that had a table at the fair was Other Ocean Interactive, an Island video game programming company.
Christine Bourque, production assistant with Other Ocean, said the company gets commissioned by video game like Capcom and Konami to program some of their games. They are currently developing a game called South Park: Tenorman’s Revenge for the Xbox Live Arcade.
Other Ocean’s sister company Sculpin Quality Assurance was also present at the fair, and Sculpin project manager Chris Gallant says video-game testing is an entry-level position, but one that’s (predictably) highly sought-after. He says Sculpin QA tends to get lots of applications at each job fair they participate in.
“We tend to be the cool guys [at these events],” said Gallant.
This year’s fair marks Sculpin QA’s second time at the event. Sculpin QA was originally formed when Other Ocean decided they needed to be able to test their own games before they sent them back to the gaming companies. Eventually, Sculpin QA launched as its own business, but the two remain close partners and a reference from one would be a solid asset for any job-seeker applying with the other.