HRSDC cancels student employment centres

February 29, 2012

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has cancelled its Service Canada Centres for Youth, stating that it can offer the same services online. The centres' elimination will save the federal government, which is grappling with a multi-billion-dollar deficit, approximately $6.5 million annually. The government says the centres have seen their attendance shrink in recent years as an increasing number of youth turn to the Internet to find employment between April and September. Young Canadians will still be able to get assistance in person, all year round, through existing Service Canada locations, HRSDC says. The move is troubling, says the Canadian Federation of Students' national chairperson, who notes that the youth unemployment rate of 14.5% is nearly twice that of the general population, at a time when students are facing high tuition fees and in some instances large debt loads. The NDP's human resources critic says the reality is that not all young Canadians have ready access to high-speed Internet, and the centres help youth learn to sell themselves to employers. "The closure of these offices will hurt students and business operators, especially in seasonal industries," says the Liberal Party's HR critic. Globe and Mail