Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Huge boost to new research

Council debate turns down fee cut

Report predicts application increase of 35,000

Summer jobs boosted

New director crowned


Teaching excellence

Caught on camera

Caught on camera too

Here they come

Summer jobs boosted

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

The provincial government will be injecting $50.8 million into the student job market this summer in an effort to alleviate the anxiety which usually accompanies the annual employment hunt.

Dave Raymont, communications coordinator for the Ministry of Education and Training, said the funding will be channelled through a number of different job initiatives under the province's summer opportunities program.

Both private and public sector jobs will be created, as well as a student venture loan program which will help entrepreneurs start up their own businesses, he said.

Raymont added all job seekers aged 15-29 can benefit from the initiative. "Last year, 60,483 youths were served by our program. That's an increase of over 25 per cent from the previous year," he said.

The promising numbers are, however, tempered with some concerns raised from within the public sector, as a new contract between the province and the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union may entail wage cuts for summer employees.

Katie Fitz-Randolph, OPSEU communications officer, said under the contract a new pay system for summer jobs will take effect, dividing pay rates into two categories. Government jobs will pay either $8.50 an hour or $6.85 an hour, depending on the complexity of the work.

Fitz-Randolph added some jobs created for student work during the summer lack substance. "There are some areas where jobs are created to be student jobs, where things wouldn't normally be done. This alerts us to the abuse of students on the part of this government," she said.

Raymont dismissed the salary concerns as being isolated to a small number within the sum total of jobs created. "For the majority of students, pay will not change. The new framework was installed to create a greater sense of equity," he said.

Neda Rahimi, a second-year engineering student, admitted she was having difficult times landing a summer job. "It's going bad. I'm applying for work study, but I still have to wait and see," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999