Job searches tough

Stiffer competition for summer jobs resulted in a solid increase in the number of students assisted by the Red Deer Service Canada Centre for Youth, a centre official said on Monday.

Stiffer competition for summer jobs resulted in a solid increase in the number of students assisted by the Red Deer Service Canada Centre for Youth, a centre official said on Monday.

Jen Thompson, a centre lead youth services officer, said the office assisted more than 1,000 students this summer to find jobs and prepare resumes.

“The number was much higher that last year,” she said.

It also assisted about 2,000 students at schools.

Last year, the office met with 1,900 total people. More than 800 openings were posted last year and 72 per cent were filled.

The office experienced a sharp decline this summer in job postings. The office, which officially closes Wednesday, received 271 job postings from employers and 250 of those positions were filled, Thompson said.

“We helped a large number of young people with their job searches, resume and cover letter writing and interview techniques,” she said.

“It was definitely important for the students to have a strong resume and a strong cover letter and be confident going into those interviews,” Thompson said.

Since students faced stiff competition for fewer jobs, the centre spent much time helping students get prepared with the tools necessary to dig for the jobs, Thompson said.

“We received a lot of feedback from employers that it was a useful service for them.

“The students they hire gave them feedback that they found the job on the student job bank,” she added.

The office opened in early May and will operate again next spring, beginning on May 5.

Thompson also said the centre made 51 visits to mostly junior and senior high schools in the spring and assisted another 2,000 students.

“We contacted a lot more students this year and we’re proud of our accomplishments in that area,” she said.

The office targets young people, mostly secondary and post-secondary students.

Temporary and casual job placement also played a significant part of the centre’s role this summer.

Since unemployment was on the rise across the country, the job search race was rocky for students in general.

Youth unemployment, which is typically twice that of the general population, was about 20 per cent this summer, a government report said last week.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com