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Students facing declines in summer work due to coronavirus

10 April 2020 No Comment

Valuable job opportunities for students are drying up since coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate the employment market all over the country.

Summer work terms, internships, practicums, co-op placements designed to help students enter the workforce are disappearing since almost all companies slash expenses and reduce the number of workers.

Director of career services at Mount Royal University (Canada), Sarah Imran, said she has witnessed the university’s student job postings drop by 60 to 70%.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced yesterday that the government will cover a total of 100% of wages for students who are hired under the Canada Summer Jobs Program. The federal government will also extend the period of time for job placements to the winter since the fact that many jobs will start later than scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and allow companies to hire students part-time.

Trudeau said that this will encourage companies to hire students to help them to get the work experience they need as well as earn incomes during the downturn.

According to Kimberley Dart, manager of the Career Development Center at the Haskayne School of Business, although many business partners have not finalized decisions regarding placements, the number of co-operative opportunities for students has declined.

To support both students and business partners, Dart said the university will have to modify the flow of various co-operative work programs to help accommodate employers who delay co-op work term start times or cancel positions.

Many students are not eligible for the new Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) of the government or Employment Insurance (EI), which further worsen this problem.

Students who are attempting to find work in their field will have to get the attention of employers, since many job postings are going to receive even thousands of applicants.

When face to face opportunities are mostly non-existent since social distancing measures are in effect, one way for students to do this is via networking, which can be tricky.

In spite of the current situation, Imran from Mount Royal said that she believes students need to press forward since companies are still going to leverage students and will act quickly when things bounce back.

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