Federal cutbacks lead to scarce job opportunities for students

April 19, 2012

Federal departments grappling with this year's austerity budget are reducing the number of students they hire, leaving some students scrambling to find summer work and co-op placements they need to graduate from university. The Federal Student Work Experience Program received 600 fewer requests from department managers last month than it did the year before, according to Public Service Commission data. "Student recruitment and hiring continue, but at a slower pace," says a PSC spokeswoman, noting that the recent budget "may mean conducting student recruitment in a way that is more focused." At the University of Ottawa, where 60% of placements are with the public sector, the co-op program's director says the situation is the worst he has seen in 12 years at the department. "(We) might have been too dependent on the federal government, they were a very good supplier of good experience for students," he says. "Now they’re pulling out and we’ll have to see how we can find other quality work experience for our students." Globe and Mail