Queens Park/City Hall Reporter
Applications are now open for the Ontario government’s youth summer jobs program.
A Feb. 26 statement from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities touts the program as an opportunity for Ontario’s youth to “gain valuable skills and experience.”
The statement says the initiative is part of the provincial government’s Youth Jobs Strategy, where $295 million is invested to assist Ontarians aged 15 to 29.
The goal is to help Ontario’s youth “find work, build job skills and start their own businesses.”
Humber is not involved in the government’s summer employment program, opting instead for the Ontario Work-Study Program, Career Advisor Christine Colosimo says.
“The students are allowed to work on campus, they work around their timetable and it gets subsidized, so it allows departments to hire more students,” she said in her Career Centre office.
The work-study program is in effect all year, Colosimo noted.
Students can work in their field of study or branch out into a different service, she said.
Colosimo says the summer job program often gives students grants to start their own business.
“We don’t really support those types of jobs because we don’t want to have a student have to fork money out of their own pocket,” she said.
Belinda Bien, who works at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, says the government’s summer jobs program can essentially be divided into three components.
First is the Summer Jobs Service, which teaches students how to write a resume and other valuable job seeking skills.
Next, “Summer Company provides students with awards up to $3,000 to start and run their own businesses. Students are provided with mentoring and hands-on business training,” Bien said in an e-mailed statement.
“Through this experience they develop skills such as marketing, sales, invoicing, bookkeeping, time management and customer relations,” she said.
Finally, the Aboriginal Youth Work Exchange Program provides First Nations youth with a two-month summer job “working on natural resource development projects,” Bien wrote.
Darlene Holowachuk is vice president of employment for the YMCA, which acts as a facilitator for the summer jobs program.
“We’ve been delivering services since the implementation of Summer Jobs Services at each of our employment sites,” she said. This history dates back to the 1960s.
Holowachuk says the YMCA tries to connect university and college students with jobs in their field of interest. They also help high school students find their first job.
“Given the high youth unemployment rate, any advantage somebody has with having meaningful employment helps,” she said.
Applications for Ontario summer jobs are available online at ontario.ca/jobs-and-employment/employment-programs-people-under-30.
The work-study application form is available on MyHumber under the “Apply for Student Aid” section.