Volume 96, Issue 82
Thursday, March 6, 2003

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Jobs on the rise
Students have more options than railway hobo & hooker

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Unemployed Western students should have no fear because apparently London is the land of milk, honey and juicy employment opportunities.

According to the results of a survey conducted by Manpower Inc., 47 per cent of London business employers will be hiring additional personnel in the next several months.

London is well above the national average of 31 per cent, stated Deborah Bakti, regional manager of Manpower, noting that none of the surveyed employers in London will be downsizing their personnel, as opposed to the national average of five per cent of employers who may downsize in the second quarter.

The city's job market has also improved from last year's average, when 14 per cent of local business employers stated they would be hiring more workers, while 11 per cent of the employers felt there would be fewer jobs available, Bakti said.

The survey involved the contribution of approximately 1,700 employers from across Canada, Bakti said.

Western's Student Development Centre has also experienced a rise in the amount of employers seeking student employees for part-time and especially summer positions, said Kathy Pollard, administrative co-ordinator for career services at the SDC.

"Overall, the amount of jobs are quite high – generally it is higher than last year," Pollard said, adding there has probably been a 10-15 per cent increase of employers that are seeking to be posted on the SDC Web site.

According to Pollard, more companies in London are hiring summer employees such as students, rather than permanent full-time workers in order to train a pool of potential permanent full-time employees that could be hired after they graduate.

"We've always been fortunate in the community – London has a good diversity in its labour market," said Steve Cordes, executive director of the Youth Opportunity Centre in London.

The Youth Opportunity Centre has been getting a large number of postings from employees searching for hired help – particularly students, Cordes said. However, it's too early to determine whether there are going to be more postings than in previous years because posting requests are to be expected at this time of the year, he added.

"It's definitely easy to get a job in London," said second-year geography student Laura Matheson.

"It's going all right. There are jobs out there if you're willing to go out and [make the effort]," said first-year general arts student Samantha Osborne.


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