© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Summer job numbers for students with the city of Moose Jaw are comparable to last year.
A spokesperson with the human resources department said the city hired 52 summer students this year. Most of the jobs were labour jobs in the parks and recreation department, the playground program, the engineering department and lifeguarding at the pool.
The numbers are usually around the same every year. As long as students have a valid driver’s licence, they can be hired for a job. Some jobs, such as the playground program, hire lots of high school students, but some university students are hired as well in April or May.
However, as school resumes after Labour Day weekend, the jobs only last until the end of August.
Karen Aulie, assistant chairman of the provincial public service commission, said the government has a central co-ordinated program for summer students. She said the provincial government hired 950 students this summer. She did not have a breakdown of the numbers in specific cities available.
In 2012, the government hired 870 summer students and in 2010 the government hired 670.
“It certainly has been on the incline,” said Aulie. “Students just need to apply to one place and they specify what their interests are, both in terms of the type of work but also the location.”
Following that, the government matches up those interests and the needs are sent out to various administrations before students are selected for their positions.
Aulie said there is a “huge variety” of jobs for summer students, including outdoor work, engineering jobs, highway projects and office employment.
“It’s really a mutual benefit because the students are able to help us out with particularly seasonal work where we need more work in the summer,” said Aulie. “We learn from them too because they bring such a great perspective … but we also are able to give them exposure to different career opportunities.”
She said there has been positive feedback from students.
“It really does focus on their future,” said Aulie. “We think we’re able to offer really good opportunities for folks to learn and shape their careers.”
Federally, the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) has an annual budget of $300 million to help “youth make a successful transition to the workplace,” said a federal public affairs and stakeholder relations spokesperson in an email.
Under the YES are the Skills Link and Career Focus programs and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative.
The spokesperson said Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to non-profit organizations, public sector employers and small businesses with less than 50 employees.
That funding is used to create summer jobs for people between the ages of 15 and 30 who are “full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year,” the spokesperson said.
The program is expected to have created up to 36,000 job opportunities for students across the country, but specific numbers for youth in Moose Jaw as well as employers won’t be available until fall.
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.
Sidebar: Other youth employment federal programs
The federal Youth Employment Strategy (YES) consists of the Skills Link, Career Focus and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative.
A federal public affairs and stakeholder relations spokesperson said in an email the Skills Link and Career Focus work with helping youth get employed. Skills Link helps youth develop skills to find a job or return to school and Career Focus provides funding to employers to hire young post-secondary graduates.
Further, the spokesperson said the Economic Action Plan 2013 is investing another $70 million over three years to create 5,000 more paid internships for youth in addition to the extra $50 million from 2012.
The spokesperson said the money would be used to “enhance YES with a new initiative that connects young Canadians with jobs in high demand and helps them develop tangible skills and gain work experience.”
“Youth employment programs are part of the Government of Canada’s broader strategy to connect Canadians with available jobs,” the spokesperson said. “Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to equip Canadians with the skills and training they need.
“These include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups such as people with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, newcomers and youth.”