Employment fair targets youth hit hard by recession
Statistics show youth between 15 and 24 have the hardest time finding work
As Alberta's economy continues to recover, one segment of the population is having more trouble finding work than any other — young people.
Statistics Canada figures show youth between the ages of 15 and 24 face higher unemployment rates and that the situation is deteriorating rather than improving.
Jennifer MacSween with the City of Calgary's Youth Employment Centre says older workers who have been laid off in the downturn are often competing with young people for part-time and temporary work.
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But MacSween also says youth should take heart because they have a unique perspective and skills that set them apart.
"They have really grown up around technology, so it's second nature to the them and they bring that skill set right off the bat when they are applying, which is really great for them to have that extra edge over some of their older competitors," she said.
The city is hosting its annual Youth Employment Fair on April 3 from 1:30 to 6 p.m. at the Big Four Building on the Stampede Grounds, where there will be up to 5,000 jobs — everything from retail, to non-profit to construction and energy jobs — up for grabs.
Close to 90 local employers will be in attendance.
Employment counsellors will also be on hand to help youth polish their resumes and target the industries they hope to work in.
Tim Glasgow attends Mount Royal University part time and works full time.
"I do maintenance, I fix toilets and then come here and study the anatomy of the heart," he said.
Glasgow says it can be a challenge to keep the bills paid while getting a post secondary education.
"I have one friend who struggles to keep a job because she has trouble balancing the workload and stress of school with working," he said.
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With files from Elissa Carpenter