OTTAWA, June 8, 2017 – The Government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Youth Employment released a report last Friday, with many of its recommendations aligning with those of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). The report, entitled 13 Ways to modernize youth employment in Canada, includes recommendations to offer more varied youth work placements, to collect better data on youth employment, and to eliminate a large number of unpaid internships.
“We know that having paid work experience in your field of study is one of the best ways a student can improve their chances of finding gainful employment post-graduation,” says CASA Chair and SAMRU President, Shifrah Gadamsetti. “If implemented, the panel’s recommendations should help to provide more of these opportunities for students, therefore ensuring smoother school-to-work transitions.”
Similar to the recommendation made in CASA’s policy paper, Student (Un)Employment in Canada, the panel calls on government to expand the Canada Summer Jobs program to offer a wider breadth of employment options year-round, including part-time jobs. This would allow for those students who study or have other commitments during the summer to also have access to paid work placements in their field.
The panel also highlighted the need for better data collection on youth employment.
Ms. Gadamsetti continues, “There are significant gaps in the data we currently have on youth employment and labour markets, which has left students and policy-makers alike in the dark. We’re pleased to see the panel recognize this problem, and hope to see better data made available in the future.”
The topic of unpaid internships was also broached in the report, recommending that all, except those as part of an academic or community program, be eliminated. CASA has long advocated for the elimination of uncompensated internships, as they place unnecessary financial strain on students, have not been shown to significantly increase employment outcomes post-graduation, and are often exploitative in nature.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, student organization composed of 21 student associations representing 250,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. Through its partnership with the Quebec Students Union (QSU) and its 8 members representing 77,000 students, CASA presents a national student voice to the federal government. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224