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Job Fairs on COVID-19 period
Article referred from: oecdedutoday.com
Job and career fairs in times of COVID-19 crisis
With the coronavirus crisis spreading, Estonian job fairs have been cancelled for the first half of 2020. While employers and officials at the PES, who had been preparing regional job fairs for months, were disappointed, it became clear that an alternative solution was needed quickly. Despite the crisis driving many employers to reduce workloads for employees or even make employees redundant, many sectors (such as agriculture and e-trade) are in increasingly desperate need for workers.
Here again, the experience Estonia had gained for over recent years with another set of tools to host job fairs on line proved valuable. The PES had previously organised a series of EURES (EURopean Employment Services) international online job fairs. This valuable experience is being drawn upon to create more online job fairs through a platform called onlineexpo.com. The platform allows users to exchange information about vacancies and enables webinars and video seminars on different topics related to job choice and career path, including career talks aimed at young people.
In this time of crisis, to answer the urgent need of some employers to fill vacancies quickly, a special online job fair on Online Expo Hall at onlineexpo.com was set up in just a couple of days. Both employers and job seekers were made aware of the initiative through public television and radio, advertisements on social media and private web pages, and mass mailing of all the partner-employers of the PES. Forty-eight hours after the platform was opened, it had received 38 000 unique visitor.
Remote career guidance is here to stay in Estonia – with or without crisis. They enable flexible participation without sacrificing quality.
Using an online platform as a professional meeting place has proved particularly effective with young people. In 2019, the PES organized a summer-work online job fair for people aged 13-26. Within two days of being ‘open’, the virtual fair had around 92 000 visits and job ads from 121 different employers. The online platform was successful because it:
- Enabled participants to connect in real-time with employers via a chat function.
- Grouped job ads according to age groups and field of activity, making it easier for young people to find suitable vacancies.
- Allowed users to participate in interactive webinars and follow video seminars.
Remote career guidance, including online job fairs, is here to stay in Estonia – with or without crisis. They enable flexible participation without sacrificing quality, when managed carefully.