Spirited turnout at job fair for senior citizens

Spirited turnout at job fair for senior citizens
Resumes in hand, men and women in their 60s and 70s turned up in large numbers to participate in the job fair for senior citizens. The fair was organised by the non-profit Nightingale Medical Trust and Karnataka Vocational Training and Skill Development Corporation Limited.

The fair, organised at Nalapad Pavilion, Palace Grounds, was inaugurated by Minister for Women and Child Development Umashree and MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao. There was a rush at the counters for registration forms to apply to various companies at the fair. Security agencies, banks and finance companies participated in the fair. Peenya Industrial Association, Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association and Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) also sought applications from elders.

Savitha K N, who used to work as a supervisor in HMT Watches, was excited to be at the fair. With 33 years of work experience, Savitha hopes to get a clerical or technical job. “You need to work to remain mentally fit. I have even applied to do a Masters in Arts by correspondence,” said Savitha, who was once a national-level archer.

Seventy-year-old B S Sinha has just moved to the city from Delhi to be with his son and is looking for something to keep him engaged for a few hours a day. “After retiring from the public sector, I used to work as a private consultant for power industries. I have applied for a few jobs here and the companies have said that they will call back. Let us see how it goes,” he said.

According to the chairman of the skill development corporation, 7,600 senior citizens and 78 companies took part in the job fair and 3,726 job seekers were placed successfully.  Most companies asked applicants to fill a form with their contact details and assured them that they would get in touch with them. A representative of VTU explained, “We are taking details of their educational qualifications, work experience and preferred job location. Then we will contact the educational institutions in the applicant's area and ask if they have any requirement for a guest lecturer or consultant.”

There was dissatisfaction among the job seekers as most of them were interested in indoor jobs, but the companies at the fair were looking for security guards and insurance agents. “I am not satisfied with the kind of jobs being offered. The insurance companies and banks expect us to go door-to-door selling their products. I want an indoor job, preferably as a typist,” said Shobha V. She retired as a senior typist from KSIC last year and she is looking for a job to save for her daughter’s wedding. That being said, Shobha did find the experience of attending a job fair interesting and she appreciated the organisers for the opportunity.

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