All Posts Tagged With: "underemployment"
What students are talking about today (April 9th)
1. It’s panic time for new university graduates, at least according to newspapers across the country, which are printing reports about students who apply to hundreds of jobs and get few interviews. Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente decided to add to the angst by pointing out how the unemployment quickly turns into underemployment. She spoke to a 29-year-old English and Women’s Studies graduate who hands out towels in a gym for a living because she can’t find a white-collar job. But, hey, there’s a bright side fellow BA-holders. “People who can’t find the jobs they want are settling for something less, pushing the less qualified down the ladder,” writes Wente. “The biggest losers are the people at the bottom, who get pushed out.” So at least you’re not among the biggest losers. And if you’re really desperate for work, you could always try a Computer Science degree. The University of Windsor Comp Sci program told CBC it has low enrollment despite a perfect placement rate for graduates.
What the experts are saying about the new jobs reality
CBC’s new Doc Zone documentary Generation Jobless covers some familiar terrain: well-educated young Canadians can’t find jobs and are instead stuck in serving jobs or cycling through unpaid internships. It’s much the same story Maclean’s covered here in The New Underclass. The show did, however, add some interesting ideas to the conversation. Here are five things I learned from watching it.
1. Master’s degrees make some people less employable because employers know the graduate’s pay expectations will be higher, says Lauren Friese, owner of the job site TalentEgg.
2. Technology giants aren’t our saviours. They’re not creating as many new jobs as we think. Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon and Twitter combined employ just 20,000 people.
3. Even in economically choppy Europe, there are places with virtually no youth unemployment. Switzerland is one. There only 20 per cent of students are admitted to university, half as many as in Canada. Most start three-year apprenticeships at age 18 anywhere from factories to banks.
4. Futurist Thomas Frey says that jobs won’t be common in the future. Instead, the average person will have worked on hundreds of small projects by the time they’re 30. It’s also predicted that technology just over the horizon, like self-driving cars, will put even more people out of work.
5. Canada is rare among western nations in having no national strategy matching education and training to jobs. Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, says a national strategy isn’t needed because education and training is the purview of the provinces.
Why a generation of well-educated Canadians has no future
Melanie Cullins is no pipe dreamer. She chose a vocation that, by unanimous opinion, represented a path to steady employment—teaching English as a second language to the thousands of immigrants pouring into B.C., a good many of whom, the experts predicted, would be making their way to Victoria, where she grew up and wished to make a home. That was back in the early 2000s, when opportunities for the young and industrious appeared unlimited. A rewarding career seemed within reach for all.
Cullins’s degree in applied linguistics was the gold standard of ESL qualifications. But she graduated in the thick of the 2008 financial meltdown, and the entry-level position she imagined would launch her career never materialized. Governments cut back on language transition programs. Resumés piled up in recruitment offices. Her calls to program directors went unanswered. “For me, that was a huge blow,” she says. “I had almost perfect performance reviews from my practicums, but I couldn’t even get an interview. You start to wonder: what’s wrong with me?”