Jobs scarce for students

The recent cancellation of the federal Hire-a-Student program could leave employment seeking Trail students disappointed.

Young workers looking to land jobs in Trail this summer could be hard pressed in light of the recent cancellation of the federal Hire-a-Student program.

With workers between the ages of 15 to 24 now accounting for 30 per cent of unemployment within the province, according to the B.C. Federation of Labour, that number could climb higher given the cut.

Data on the labour force recently revealed that the number of unemployed young people has increased by 30,000—an almost 20 per cent increase—over the last year.

And as the summer progresses, employees at the Skills Centre said competition for jobs is intense for some people in that age bracket—including many students—said Jaime Malcolm, the employment resource specialist for the Skills Centre.

“In May and June now it’s dwindled, I think we only have one or two student jobs posted. And we haven’t seen a lot of students but we might get another little bump in July when the high-school students are done,” she said.

Although federal funding for the Hire-a-Student program was recently cut, the Skills Centre reported it hasn’t seen a wide influx of changes on the local job front.

“I think students who finished school at the end of April came here around mid-May and that’s usually when all of the jobs get posted,” said Malcolm.

According to a recent CBC report, statistical data released earlier this month shows that the country’s total jobless rate currently sits at 7.4 per cent. But for those in the 15 to 24 age bracket, the figure is 14.7 per cent—27,000 fewer youths have jobs right now than at this time last year.

But it’s not all gloom and doom. There are several options out there for students, unfortunately just not a one-to-one service, said Cheryl Gnyp, marketing coordinator at the Skills Centre in Trail.

The Skills Centre offers online job postings spanning from Trail to Castlegar, self-serve computers with both a resume making program and career assessments, access to a photocopier and a phone, as well as workshops on resume writing, interview skills, and effective job searches.

“And while many (students) use social media, they don’t use it for job searches,” said Gnyp.

“I’m finding that some university students are a bit more savvy with that.”

University students are on summer holidays roughly one or two months before high school students are on holidays and job opportunities can become difficult to find.

Alternatively, the CBT offers a Summer Works Program that provides an employer with a generous subsidy if they meet the criteria.

As well, a joint venture recently launched between the province and the federal government can provide students with a program funded by the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement called Get Youth Working.

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