Op-Ed

Photo: Kim Wiens.

Increase in funding means more jobs, but still no solutions beyond summer

Earlier this month Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government will be doubling its funding for the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

Expanding this program is good news for students, and a much-needed recognition of the fact that the current job market isn’t cutting it for Millenials. While a summer job is welcome news for most college students in Canada, more needs to be done to provide long term, meaningful employment, post-graduation.

With a youth unemployment rate double the rate for the rest of the population and an average student debt of $27,000 upon graduation students need increased access to these jobs.

The program currently  helps non-profit groups, government branches and small businesses pay the salaries of students aged 15-30 who are planning on returning to school in the fall.

The summer jobs program created 34,000 jobs last year according to the CBC, and with this latest funding increase it could bump that up to 70,000 this year.

Many of the organizations that provide placements for participants are small business or non-profit groups with strained resources, these are all places where the additional resources of a long term employee would help greatly, so there are benefits for both sides in extending the length of the program.

The expansion of this program is a positive tool that can be used to help combat the increasingly high levels of student debt.

Young adults are working during the whole year, meaning that the need for employment doesn’t end when fall rolls around. There are few reasons the project can’t be extended to the other nine months of the year.

If the summer jobs program functioned more as a co-op system with longer terms it would not only give students money, but also give them better work experience, and more substantial career opportunities.

Spending more time with a company would give students more time to develop a professional network and allow them to perform meaningful, long term activities instead of just office busy work.