Committee says internships and placements could help youth get jobs

Madison Blanchard
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Dante Bazzard doesn’t need anyone to tell him it’s tough for students to get jobs.

The UPEI student has been searching for employment for the last five months.

“I’ve applied to 15 to 20 different places and received one call back.”

One of the problems is most of the jobs advertised require three to five years experience, something most university students and recent grads don’t have.

“I’m a university student. Where am I going to get that experience from?”

Fellow UPEI student Jennifer Kim, has also found herself caught in this dilemma.

She works as a lab assistant at the university, but this doesn’t seem to catch any attention of employers.

“They’re looking for more professional experience.”

Both Bazzard and Kim agree internships or placements could potentially help university students get jobs.

This is one of the recommendations from the youth underemployment committee.

Committee members Katharine MacDonald and Haley Doherty, say internships could make a big difference to youth trying to find work in Charlottetown.

“There are some internship programs, co-op programs, placement programs but they tend to be limited and targeted to certain occupations,” said MacDonald.

Many of these programs do not take on students in general arts degrees or science degrees and are more specific to college programs.

“It’s giving equal opportunities for people in whatever they choose to study. Someone shouldn’t be penalized because they’re passionate in a certain area,” said Doherty.

Youth employees are a great investment for companies and the hope of the committee is to bring awareness to that fact.

“More jobs are always better, but better jobs are better, too,” MacDonald said.

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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