Michelle Benz thought she was taking part in it sensible when she went again to highschool after being laid off from the oil and fuel sector six years in the past.
She accomplished her bachelor of city planning on the College of Calgary, however she’s pissed off that the job market in her chosen area has dried up as a consequence of COVID-19.
“I felt like I ought to enhance my private expertise to present myself a greater shot within the labour market — and now I’ve graduated to the worst job market in my lifetime,” stated Benz, who’s turning 31.
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Benz is working half time at a shoe retailer and half time at a brewery.
She plans to return to school to get a grasp’s diploma, however says she will be able to’t afford to do this till subsequent yr. Plus, she’s going to quickly have to start out repaying her pupil loans.
“I’m staring down the barrel six months from now,” stated Benz. “These funds are going to be added to my bills and I don’t understand how I’m going to hold that.
“If I might defer funds — in case you might give me 18 months (grace) as an alternative of six months — it might give me longer to search out extra gainful employment.”
Frank Finley, president of the College of Calgary College students’ Union, stated this yr is much like 2020 when college students struggled to search out work.
A survey by the college final summer time, he stated, confirmed greater than one-third of scholars couldn’t discover summer time jobs and the prospects of 12 per cent have been cancelled due to the pandemic and financial downturn.
“In actual fact, the financial scenario for a lot of because the pandemic drags on has grow to be a lot, far more dire,” stated Finley.
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He stated some college students are going through tough decisions.
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“Persons are anxious they’re going to should drop out of college. Persons are anxious about homelessness, about having the ability to put meals on the desk.
“They’re anxious about what the subsequent yr goes to appear like.”
Calgary college students will not be alone of their issues.
The president of the Canadian Alliance of Pupil Associations stated he’s listening to from college students throughout the nation who’re struggling to search out jobs.
“At the moment it’s a comparatively bleak scenario” stated Bryn de Chastelain, who attends Saint Mary’s College in Halifax.
“We’re nonetheless seeing vital impacts on the tourism trade and within the retail or service sector, and that tends to be the place numerous college students work to make ends meet. It’s positively a nationwide subject,” he stated.
“The largest concern that I’ve is for college kids who’re midway or virtually accomplished their diploma and are actually struggling to get to that end line due to the monetary hardship.”
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De Chastelain stated the federal authorities has helped by setting the rate of interest to zero per cent for the federal portion of pupil loans. However he advised it must also think about freezing pupil mortgage repayments prefer it did final yr.
“It was giving (college students) a chance to focus extra on their fast monetary scenario, to actually get their toes beneath them earlier than they begin enthusiastic about paying down debt.”
The federal authorities says greater than 150,000 jobs can be found via Canada Summer time Jobs, which permits younger individuals to use for work in a wide range of fields. This system is giving employers flexibility to rent on a full- or part-time foundation.
“Because the starting, they’ve confronted and proceed to face a novel set of challenges and should be on the centre of Canada’s restoration” Youth Minister Bardish Chagger stated in a press release.
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Finley stated the Alberta authorities ought to restore the Summer time Momentary Employment Program that gave employers wage subsidies. It was dropped in 2019.
Alberta’s superior schooling minister stated he understands the job market is tight.
“Years of financial decline, and restrictions related to COVID-19, have restricted employment alternatives for a lot of Albertans, together with college students,” stated Demetrios Nicolaides in a press release.
He stated the provincial authorities has introduced within the Alberta Jobs Now program, which supplies grants to employers for on-the-job coaching.
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