Blackberry, Convergys employees targeted at N.S. job fair

The Greater Halifax Partnership and the Nova Scotia Department of Labour organized a job fair Thursday, aimed at matching up employers with dozens of employees who will soon be out of a job.

Nearly 500 IT workers handed layoff notices in Halifax in October

Deborah Whynot, a former Convergys employee, says the fair gave her hope that she will be able to find a new job in the city. (CBC)

The Greater Halifax Partnership and the Nova Scotia Department of Labour organized a job fair Thursday, aimed at matching up employers with dozens of employees who will soon be out of a job.

Blackberry, Convergys and Xerox all handed out layoff notices in October, leaving approximately 500 people out of a job in the IT sector.

Deborah Whynot spent 15 years at the Convergys call centre. She picked up several applications at the job fair from banks and insurance companies that are hiring in January.

The Nova Scotia government says jobs are out there and estimates there are 32 companies currently hiring to fill a total of 700 jobs.

But Jason Dorey says it's not an easy process. He's a senior analyst at Blackberry who is about to be unemployed. He's trying to find a comparable job that pays well enough to stay in Nova Scotia.

"The high-end tech support role is hard to fulfil," he said. "A lot of companies may be looking for entry level — we were pretty well specialized in the role that we did."

One company — CGI Group Inc. — said it is set to fill 100 positions.

"We've seen a lot of talent coming through, which is exciting for us," said Melanie Gallant, a senior manager.

The Greater Halifax Partnership plans to follow up with applicants from the job fair to see how many were successful.

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