Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to IT we go

Sam Wandio
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Innovation and Technology Association of P.E.I. holds job fair

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.

Organizations: Holland College, ITAP, Technology Association of P.E.I. Innovation and Technology Association IT Job Fair

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Bangalore, India South Park

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Recent comments

  • intobed
    March 19, 2012 - 14:04

    In PEI, youth is technically considered to be under 30 years of age. Many of our youth who have taken IT programs have left for bigger opportunities in larger cities, and probably will not come back. Many who have stayed have lost the up-to-date skills they had, since employers frequently will not update training for employees, or they just ended up at a call center. IT EMPLOYEE is right, we need to start upgrading the skills of former IT workers who are over thirty years old, as these are the people who want to stay in PEI and work. Stop advertising jobs here as "jobs for youth" as this is an insult to all unemployed people over 30.

  • Youth is a state of mind
    March 19, 2012 - 08:57

    It is also disappointing that you took what you wanted out of this article. Young...can be anyone under 50 (to me). With the number of positions being posted...by all means apply for one - a positive state of mind just might surprise you.

      March 19, 2012 - 16:23

      I took what was quoted, and as they are talking about graduated fro the college and university prograves through out the article, I took the age ranges correctly. I do have a positive outlook, as a former business owner and as a former attendee of these events, I know where my rose coloured glasses are firmly placed.

  • IT Employee
    March 19, 2012 - 02:36

    Gillis: “It is exciting to see how many career opportunities are available to young people who choose to build a career on P.E.I.” A disappointing statement to see from a former candidate for the Provincial elections. There are a lot more age groups who are qualified for these positions. Continuously informing the public that they need not apply if they are not under the age of 25 leaves a void for the hundreds of IT employees who are over that age still looking for employment. As an "older" employee, I would hope these businesses see the benefits of employing mature employees also. We bring knowledge, experience, have roots in the community, look for long term employment and several other benefits. Please don't continue to make the mistake of saying only the young apply.