July 27, 2015

Ask Andrew ... Will there be a CNE job fair this year?

Last week, a reader contacted me and asked about the annual CNE job fair - formerly run by the Service Canada Centres for Youth (SCCY) program. They wanted to secure a job with one of the CNE's vendors to gain some work experience prior to returning to school.

Q. Hi Andrew! Do you know if there will be a job fair this year for the CNE?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately, it looks like there will not be a CNE job fair this year.

Back when I worked for Service Canada in 2005 and 2006, I helped coordinate the annual SCCY CNE Job Fair and more than 2,500 students attended the five-day hiring fair. Unfortunately, the SCCY program was cancelled in 2012 and there hasn't been a large-scale CNE-related job fair since then, except for the CNE's own job fair which they replaced with an online application system.

Even though there isn't an official job fair this year, you can still find lots of CNE jobs as most of the CNE retailers, exhibitors, and operators still need to find and hire staff to work the two-week event.

To kickstart your CNE job search, first check out the list of CNE jobs that I regularly update. Although it doesn't represent all of the CNE jobs available, I have either contacted these employers directly to verify their hiring needs and application process or have gone through their website and social media activity to verify that they will be operating during the CNE.

You can also find more CNE jobs by searching for "CNE" and "Canadian National Exhibition" in the jobs and gigs sections of Craigslist and Kijiji. However, be aware that some of the posts could be fraudulent so exercise discretion and do not send out resumes with any personal information (e.g. date of birth, Social Insurance Number, address, etc.).

Likewise, you can also search on the Government of Canada's Job Bank, but so far, I haven't seen any CNE-related jobs on either the main or student/youth job boards.

Also, get in contact with the various youth/student job centres in the Greater Toronto Area listed below. They may have connections to employers who are looking to hire staff during the CNE. And it would be worthwhile to contact and visit multiple centres as each centre might have established employer relationships that other centres do not have.

The bottom line is that with no CNE job fair this year, you'll have to do most of the legwork to find a job. But with more than 3 weeks to go until the CNE opens, you have plenty of time to find the perfect CNE job for you!