By: Brigitte Berry

Jennifer Jarvis is the employment outreach officers at Algonquin. IIRTS is creating more jobs for students.

You’re wondering about a summer job and where it’s going to come from.

Options are limited. Leads are lean. Your old job no longer exists. Enter the Summer Experience Program.

The Summer Experience Program (SEP) is an employment service that gives students jobs that provide them with work experience and the opportunity to save money for the upcoming school year.

Being broke is an unfortunate situation many Algonquin students are familiar with and this year the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has once again come to Algonquin to sponsor the program to help students find a summer job.

“A lot of thought goes into it to benefit students and help them financially,” said Jennifer Jarvis, employment outreach officer at the college.

The economic strain can make it difficult for students to land a job. While unemployment is on the rise, so is student debt. Even if you are employed, balancing schoolwork and a job can get troublesome.

The program’s goal is to aid those with difficulty finding work by providing them with a position that will teach them skills for their field of study. It is accessible to youth from ages 15 to 24 and up to 29 years if disabled and will be available for application in after mid-March.

“The jobs are not just clerical, but are chosen based on strong learning outcomes,” said Jarvis.

In January, the Ontario Government announced the launch of Canada Summer Jobs 2013, which will potentially create up to 36, 000 job opportunities for students across Canada.

Several academic departments in Algonquin, such as Student Services and IIRTS, made proposals in February to receive the subsidized funding from the provincial government to create more job availabilities for students. The subsidized funding received offsets the costs to hire a student for the employer.

“Various positions are available, all of them quite linked to different programs in the college,” said Jarvis. “It allows them to link what they’re learning in their program with actual on the job experience, have that real-world experience and be able to add skills to their resume.”

The proposals are assessed based on what kind of opportunity available for the student and allows them to link the job with what they’ve learned in class.

“I think it’d be cool and beneficial to get a job related to my program,” said Sarah Hagarty, second-year advertising student.
“It is definitely a learning opportunity,” said Jarvis.