Government misses the mark with investment in graduate hiring; students prioritize access

Canadian Alliance of Student Associations responds to 2013 Federal Budget

OTTAWA, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The federal budget, tabled today by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty contained $70 million over three years to support paid internships for 5,000 post-secondary graduates.

At present over 1,000,000 students are enrolled in university and approximately 700,000 are enrolled in colleges across Canada. This measure will provide valuable experience that will help ease the challenge of employment instability, but only among a miniscule portion of new graduates.

University graduates saw a net increase of 700,000 jobs between July 2008 and July 2012, college and trades graduates benefitted from a net gain of 320,000 jobs over the same period. People who had attained high school or less saw a net loss of 640,000 jobs during the same period.

"This budget offers support for employers to hire new graduates as interns after graduation," said Zachary Dayler, National Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). "Unfortunately, it does little to support those individuals who struggle to access post-secondary, which would help more people get a foot in the door of the labour market."

In advance of the budget students across Canada called on the government to make financial assistance more effective and accessible. Helping people get the skills training and education they need to be full participants in the labour market will fuel Canada's future prosperity. Over 400,000 people rely on federal financial assistance to fund their education each year.

"The government should have taken this opportunity to focus on improving the skills and education of people who have the most difficulty finding employment," added Pat Joyce, CASA Board Chair. "Clearly more needs to be done to give those folks a shot at post-secondary education and the job market."

"Increasing the pool of highly educated, highly trained graduates will improve the adaptability of the labour force and that will improve flexibility within the labour market," added Dayler. "It is clear that these measures do more to help employers than youth."

CASA supports additional annual investments of $5 million for two years for aboriginal education through Indspire, formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation to support scholarships. CASA also is encouraged by continued investments in the Canada Foundation for Innovation which supports expenditures on campus infrastructure, ensuring that these costs are not passed on to students.

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations represents 300,000 students at 25 member associations from across Canada. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, and of the highest quality.


SOURCE: CANADIAN ALLIANCE OF STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS

For further information:

To arrange an interview with Zachary Dayler, or student representatives from your region please contact:

Rob LeForte
Government Relations Officer
613-720-5726
government@casa.ca

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CANADIAN ALLIANCE OF STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS

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