Dear [recipient name will go here], [recipient position will go here];
I am a post-secondary student at [submission:values:school] living in [your jurisdiction will go here] and I need your help to #CloseTheGaps surrounding Canadian post-secondary education!
I’m personally facing a serious issue around Jobs for Students. In addition to my personal employment problems, post-secondary students across the country have been hit hard by the economic shutdown. Young people in Canada (aged 15-24) were unemployed at a massive rate of 27.2% in April 2020 versus the general rate of 13.0%. Jobs for young Canadians have also been slower to return, as the unemployment rate for those aged 15-24 persists at 17.7% when compared to the general rate of 8.6%. This is partly because many young Canadians, including students, tend to work in the retail and service sectors, both of which have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s also because young Canadians tend to have the least seniority at their place of work, and therefore are the first to be relieved during tough economic times or a recession. This unemployment gap between the student-aged and the general population requires sustained attention and investment from the federal government.
As such, I recommend that the Government of Canada do the following to #CloseTheGaps in the Canadian labour market:
- Build on existing investments in the Canada Summer Jobs program, Student Work Placement Program, and the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, to create more opportunities for post-secondary students.
- Create a program modelled off Canada Summer Jobs to provide students with part-time work opportunities during the school year that offer experiences relevant to areas of study.
- Amend the eligibility criteria for Canada Summer Jobs to make the program available to international students studying in Canada and as well as mature students over the age of 30.
2020 has been a challenging year for all Canadians, and post-secondary students across the country know it. We have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. We are all facing unprecedented levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and social isolation, as well as a bleak job market unlikely to improve in the short-term. In addition to that, many of us are also facing persistent discrimination, non-existent child care, insufficient broadband, or confusing restrictions as we attempt to re-enter and study in Canada. These gaps are not only due to COVID-19-related challenges; this past year has also seen persistent gaps that existed prior to the pandemic exacerbated, thereby compounding the hardship many students are facing. You can read about some of the gaps my peers and I are facing here: www.closethegaps.ca/showcase
I’d also encourage you to champion the full spectrum of solutions we are proposing to #CloseTheGaps! You can find them all here: www.closethegaps.ca/thefacts
[your name will go here]
[your location will go here]
#CloseTheGaps is a grassroots campaign seeking to highlight the many challenges faced by post-secondary students in Canada during this unprecedented year. It is powered by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), a non-partisan, not-for-profit, student organization composed of 23 student associations, representing 275,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast to coast.