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LETTER: Vicious circle

University of Prince Edward Island campus
University of Prince Edward Island campus - Contributed

I am writing to express frustration regarding an issue that no doubt affects many post-secondary students on P.E.I. My daughter is a 32-year-old woman who has just graduated from Holland College’s marketing and advertising program and will be starting at UPEI in the fall to work towards her business degree.

She had extreme difficulty finding a summer job last year, even with significant prior work experience and this year has proven to be even more difficult. The problem is virtually all the advertised jobs for students are with employers hiring under the Canada Summer Jobs program subsidy that limits ages of the applicants from 15 to 30 years. I certainly understand the economic advantage this subsidy provides employers and why they would want to be involved, but what are mature students to do? 

In March, she identified a glitch in the online application process for multiple student summer job positions for a particular company in Charlottetown. She took the initiative to send an email to the company’s HR department, informing them of the problem and the problem was subsequently fixed. This accomplished, she was able to finally apply for the summer positions that suited, only to be completely deflated to see the age restriction again. Couldn’t there be some summer jobs reserved for those who do not qualify for under 30?

To complicate matters, she is a single parent with two young children and if she does not work full time in the summer, she will not qualify for daycare subsidy to even pick up a part time job and will have no income saved whatsoever for the next school year.

It is indeed a vicious circle.

Anne Skipp,
Kinburn, Ont.

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