As the federal budget is tabled today, a Calgary university student will be looking to see what measures it includes to tackle youth unemployment — something Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says is a priority.
Josh Eberley went back to school to get a degree — and make more connections — after finding a college diploma didn’t land him a high-enough paying job.
"The last two years I've gone out of my way and I've attempted to get internships and realized that going to school isn't enough. You need that experience,” he said.
"I've spent so much money going to school for this and now where do I go from here if I can't make a living doing that job? That's why I'm back here at school, doing internships, and things, trying to get enough experience that I can raise that pay rate coming out of school."
In January, Canada's unemployment rate was around seven per cent. But the national youth unemployment rate remains in the double digits.
Todd Hirsch, chief economist at ATB Financial, said the rate for Albertans under 25 is closer to eight.
"At the moment, nationwide youth unemployment is a little bit sticky high. Higher than it probably should be at this point,” he said.
Eberley hopes today's federal budget will include more incentives to hire young people, including paid internships.
Internships are more important than ever, according to U of C Students’ Union VP external Conner Brown.
“If I can offer one piece of advice for students it’s to actively seek out internships, co-ops and volunteer opportunities that are really applicable to their field of study, and really complement their degree so they’re more attractive for the job market when they do graduate,” he said.