How Canada Makes Summer Jobs Accessible Through Grants?

Whilst there is an increasing amount of starting positions, there is also a huge growing number of graduates as well as young people in general. Getting a job is more competitive than ever in most fields, with many having to send off applications in their hundreds to even receive a reply, let alone an interview. It’s certainly a number game and being ignored should not be taken personally. However, many will find that they have a higher reply rate than others who have the same qualifications. Why? Because there are so many graduates.

Entry requirements are arguably becoming diluted and so the certificate alone hasn’t been enough for a long time now. Like a homogeneous product in a marketplace – differentiation is the only way to up your value. The best way to do this? Summer jobs. The reason why this is the most effective way to stand out is that it says a lot about your personality. Having achieved extra-curricular milestones at school is great too, but who knows how voluntary it really was? Who knows how much time it really took? And for those who did not get a college degree, work experience is all the more important too, so the program definitely aims to help all young people.

Summer jobs, on the other hand, prove that you’re willing to sacrifice your holidays – to defer gratification – for the sake of your career. Now that’s a serious person. That makes a teenager an adult. The transition from school to the workforce is extremely underestimated. It can be a horrifying shock for some and summer jobs help ease this transition. Working for a few weeks or months without much pressure, but certainly with some responsibility is a great way to understand what will be expected of you. It’s a greater indicator for your future employer too, showing that you yourself understand the value of work.

The Canadian Summer Jobs Program
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The Canadian Summer Jobs Program (CSJ) is a huge part of the Government’s youth employment strategy. The program is essentially the government providing grants to businesses so they can specifically hire youth workers for the summer. So, who does this program target? Anyone between 15 and 30 who are legally entitled to work, not only students.

There are thousands of opportunities for funding each year in the program. All jobs that have been approved for funding will be posted in one place, on the website:

Employer applications for the program are open between December and February, and applicants that are approved for funding will be able to hire youth workers from as early as April.

The budget in 2016 doubled to $107.5 million, which allowed the program to create up to 70,000 annual jobs. Small businesses (under 50 employees) and public sector firms can receive 50% of the hourly minimum wage in funding. This means this program isn’t simply lining the pockets of big business, but fueling both small businesses and providing more short term work experiences for young people to boost their CVs.

These opportunities then tend to be more focused on young people, rather than generic jobs such as retail just to save some money. This focused experience can provide more opportunities to get on the work ladder, build career-related relationships and give them a better shot at acquiring a meaningful job as they rattle through their 20s.

Not-for-profit employers can actually receive up to 100% funding of the minimum hourly wage, too.

“Approximately 300 businesses and organizations in Sydney-Victoria will be able to hire youth for the summer through the Canada Summer Jobs Grant this year. This program gives young people the chance to learn valuable skills that they will be able to use later in their careers. I’m proud that our government has this initiative to help youth and our local community.” – Mark Eyking, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria

Canada’s social understanding

Whether your political beliefs lie on the left or the right, we can mostly all agree that equality of opportunity is a great thing. The idea that regardless of the social class that a child is brought up in, they should stand as good a chance as any if they want to succeed.

Libertarians have often claim to do this, you should lower the minimum wage, or abolish it altogether. This would mean that youngsters are never priced out of being employed, thus giving them the opportunity to always find work and begin learning skills. A more socialist policy is to abolish private schools, which provide a much better education than state schools that only certain families can afford.

Both have proven to be controversial. One thing Canada has recognized though is that providing summer jobs with the aid of grants is a far less controversial way of tackling the problem, yet still gets to the root of it. Canadian’s have underappreciated this understanding of Government – their proficiency in tackling social problems far better than many other western countries. Since 2005, over 900,000 young people have gained skills and work from the youth employment strategy alone; this could be one of the most effective policies in politics today in growing a middle class.

There is somewhat a wealth redistribution effect too from the policy, but a benign and uncontroversial one. Small businesses and non-for-profit businesses get to benefit from cheap labour, with the former really being a driving force of the economy. This is funded by everyone, but of course, they are getting more out of it and big businesses bear most of the cost.

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