Federal government offers relief to northern students facing summer job reductions
N.W.T. government, City of Yellowknife student hiring on hold
The announcement of federal aid for students is going to come as welcome news to Northwest Territories students, who will be facing a severe lack of employment opportunities this summer.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced students will be eligible for $1,250 per month from May through August. That can go up by $500 if the student has a disability or is taking care of someone.
The Canada Emergency Student Benefit program is available to college and university students currently in school, those planning to start in September, and those who graduated in December 2019.
The government is also offering other student supports, including paying students for volunteering this summer, and providing more money for northern governments to shore up their student financial assistance programs.
Student summer job drought ahead
The Government of the Northwest Territories typically hires more than 350 students each summer, according to an emailed response from the government. The jobs pay between $26 and $29 per hour.
But the government's Summer Student Employment Program is on hold this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead the government will be drawing on its pool of casual workers to fill any temporary positions this summer.
In Yellowknife, the city is also usually a good source of good-paying jobs for students. It typically hires about 50 students each summer, according to a city communications official. The jobs pay between $21.02 to $25.76 per hour.
"At this time, the City does not plan to hire casual employees for the summer months due to the reduced programs and services offered as a result of COVID-19," said the official in an email.
"The City continues to evaluate the situation surrounding COVID-19 in Yellowknife and is prepared to adjust plans as necessary."
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