Post-secondary students worry about another jobless summer

CALGARY – There is added stress for post-secondary students who complete semester final exams, find summer jobs with student loans adding up and tuition on the rise.

“The research has been very difficult over the past month,” said Justin Gotta, who has just completed his third year at the University of Calgary.

The economics major is hoping to secure a co-op position this summer, which he needs to graduate. But I have to say that there are not a lot of opportunities available.

“It’s really important to me, so I have the necessary work experience to enter the workforce after I graduate. It gives me an edge over my peers and allows me to compete with people who have already been in the workforce for several years, ”he said.

I received a reminder on Tuesday for a possible interview next week. He lost his two part-time positions, as a usher at the Scotiabank Saddledome and as a minor hockey referee last year.

He’s not the only one struggling to find a job.

“I was unemployed all last summer after I finished my undergraduate studies and this summer it was just as difficult, but most of the jobs I found were not really architecture related.” said master’s student Jassie Kehal.

“My schedule is so rigorous that it’s hard to find work year round, so summer internships are kind of what we rely on,” Kehal said.


As of May 1, 2021, tuition fees for most University of Calgary undergraduate programs increase by 7% for domestic students. Some programs will see a 10 percent increase.

The University of Calgary Students Union said it fears this year will be similar to last as many students could not find work or their opportunities were canceled at the last minute due to the pandemic.

The Students Union wants the province to bring back the Temporary Summer Employment Program (STEP) which was canceled by the UCP government in 2019. It has offered a wage subsidy to employers.

Gotta, is also the representative of the students’ union at the Faculty of Arts, said that a student-specific program is needed.

“It would be really beneficial for students right now so that employers are incentivized to hire a student position, to give us the appropriate work experience that we need to enter the workforce,” Gotta said. .

A Calgary MP is trying to ease the burden by securing $ 2.8 million in federal funding for jobs through the Canada Summer Jobs program.

“My constituents really worry me that their kids are dropping out of school and universities and not being able to find jobs,” said Jag Sahota, MP for Calgary Skyview.

The money will go to small businesses and non-profit groups who can then hire students. The candidates for this year have been chosen. Sahota said hundreds of candidates would benefit.

“We always say that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and it’s a win-win situation for everyone. The students, the young population get life experience, work experience and build long term relationships, then small businesses get the support they need, financial backing, ”she said.


On Wednesday, the federal government announced that more than 150,000 summer jobs across Canada are posted on an online job bank.

Jobs are available in a variety of fields, including nonprofit work, food industries, landscaping, and marketing for anyone between the ages of 15 and 30.

Employers will receive subsidies for wages.

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