This April, students all across Ontario are finishing exams and getting ready for the hot summer months. But instead of enjoying the weather and the months off of school, some students are writing more papers: resumés.
With the economic downfall continuing this summer, students are noticing the job hunt is much more limited than it has been in previous years.
The manufacturing sector has always been a big employer of students who want to save up for next year’s tuition and living costs, but this summer that will not be the case. According to Statistics Canada, between 2004 and 2008, more than 1 in 7 — about 322,000 — manufacturing jobs were lost in Canada and the majority of those lost were in Ontario.
Since the start of 2009, tens of thousands more have disappeared as The Big 3 car manufacturers (GM, Ford and Chrysler) face restructuring and possible bankruptcy.
Alex Strynatka, a 32-year employee of the General Motors car factory in Oshawa, Ont., said he can remember a time when 800 students were hired for the summer. But now, with the truck plant closing, no students will be back this season.
Companies struggling to stay afloat in the slumping economy are not usually interested in hiring labourers who they have to spend money on to train for them to turn around and leave in a few months time. Employers may even be shuffling their current employees and adding new duties to a previously filled position to avoid hiring new employees for the busy summer months. The end result is students coming home for the summer to find their selections on the job market are slim.
Keeping an open mind is the key to securing a job this summer. Applying for a position you may not have considered in the past may prove to be the only option in some cases, especially in more rural areas.
Start with TalentEgg.ca: that’s why we’re here! There are currently many great (paid and unpaid) opportunities with some of Canada’s top employers on the site.
However, if you don’t find any summer jobs in your area of interest on TalentEgg, try these other options:
Look at your schools’ website or career services to see if there are any summer research, leadership or activity-organizing positions open to students. They often pay very well (about $10-$15 an hour) and offer great experience to add to your resumé and portfolio.
If staying close to campus is an issue, some schools even offer cheap rent over the summer to fill the empty residence buildings. You might also be surprised at the number of quality jobs that are posted on government websites. The Government of Ontario, for example, has an entire section devoted to Youth and New Professionals offering seasonal employment opportunities as well as internships and co-op placements within the government. Imagine how great a government job would look on your resumé when applying for jobs next year!
These jobs may not pay the big bucks working in a car plant used to, but doing something is always better than doing nothing.