For students, summer is the most important time of the year to save money. Students’ job searches should be made easier after a Jan. 10 announcement at the University of Calgary by the federal minister of state for finance Ted Menzies, who pledged to create 36,000 summer jobs for 2013.
The jobs will be created through Canada Summer Jobs, a federal program run by Service Canada. CSJ provides federal grants to small businesses, non-profit organizations and the public sector to create summer employment for full-time students under the age of 30. The program will target small organizations that employ 50 people or fewer, though larger organizations are also included.
Menzies expressed optimism for the program’s future.
“Our continued investment in Canada Summer Jobs will create thousands of jobs for students this summer, strengthening the local economies of communities right across Canada,” said Menzies.
U of C director of career services Colleen Bangs was pleased to hear the announcement.
“I think it’s great,” said Bangs. “The program is going to directly impact the public sector, small business and non-profit. Those are the organizations that, even though the work is there and they need the people to do it, they don’t have the resources.”
Bangs feels the new jobs will be especially valuable for students who are unsure about what they want to do after university.
“I think that there’s going to be really interesting opportunities for people, especially people in our arts and science programs who may or may not be sure of what it is they are going to do when they graduate with their degree,” said Bangs. “It will create some opportunities to investigate what’s out there.”
U of C political sciences graduate student and vice-president of finance and services for the Graduate Students’ Association Adam Rousselle spoke during the announcement at the U of C. He, like many students, found it difficult to find work while attending school. He has worked for government-sponsored jobs and sees them as important for Canadian students.
“I am 100 per cent in favour of the announcement,” said Rousselle. “It provides excellent opportunities for students by giving them much needed employment in certain areas of the country where workers are needed. It also gives students hands-on experience that can relate to their fields.”
Bangs acknowledged that summer employment is vital for students but often difficult to find.
“I think there are lots of issues that students face. Especially when it comes to summer employment, because summer employment is the bread and butter for a lot of students,” said Bangs. “That’s what pays their way once they get back into school.”
Bangs had several recommendations for students finding it difficult to find employment.
“I think to just really, really take a look at what’s out there and to narrow jobs down is important,” said Bangs. “Really look at what you want to do and apply for jobs that you want, because it comes across in an interview if you’re just there to be there.”
First-year U of C biology student Aymara Clark also said the announcement was important.
“I think that having that sort of source of income can take a lot of pressure off students,” said Clark.