The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Students left behind

By in News

Despite recent economic growth in the province, many of Saskatchewan’s students are struggling to find employment.

Saskatchewan is enjoying an economic boom that appears even more dramatic in light of the bleak situation in neighbouring provinces and countries. Between June 2008 and June 2009, 14,500 new jobs were created in Saskatchewan. This is by far the largest number of new jobs from that time period of any province or territory — New Brunswick was the only other province to create any jobs and it saw an increase of only 3,000.

But while the record-breaking growth looks good on paper, it does not seem to benefit students in the market for summer jobs.

Ashley Weiman, a third-year University of Saskatchewan student, says she applied for “at least five jobs” for the summer before finding work at a golf course in June.

“It seems like everybody wants to hire someone who can work past the summer,” she said. “Even places like Starbucks.”

Weiman found work when a friend recommended her for a job he was quitting. Before that she had been working two shifts a week at a relative’s store, making little to save for school.

“It was like this last year too,” Weiman added.

Some students have been able to rely on jobs they held last summer. But for those who could not, or chose not, to go back to last summer’s jobs, Weiman’s experience is more common.

Of the thousands of jobs created since June 2008, 5,100 have been in the construction sector. Premier Brad Wall said in a press release that the province’s resource sector is also benefiting from the current expansion.

This comes as good news to most everyone except university students, many of whom are looking for jobs that reflect the skills and knowledge they have acquired in school.

Students who are looking for experience in their chosen academic field do not stand to benefit from an influx of labour jobs unless they prefer to work in a field unrelated to their education.

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