Post-secondary education is a means to skilled jobs

In response to the letter to the editor, Many Canadians under 24 are unemployed submitted by Ilse Quick, while I agree unemployment

Dear Editor:

In response to the letter to the editor, Many Canadians under 24 are unemployed submitted by Ilse Quick, while I agree unemployment and underemployment are currently an issue facing our society, clarification on some statements regarding student loans must be made

You have six months to begin repaying student loans after school if you have a job. You can apply for extensions, in some instances indefinitely.

Prime plus one per cent is not a normal line of credit but secured with your home (Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC). The terms and rates offered through government supported student loans are reasonable when considering the alternatives through traditional financial institutions. Paying for post-secondary education is an investment, one that can pay huge dividends with the ceiling being as high as the persons drive to succeed.

I do not agree with the idea that government should ensure local apprentices are being hired. Such a program will hurt the workforce and businesses. Businesses can only sustain a workforce equal to the work they have and when hiring seek the best talent. The jobs immigrants are snatching up include many low-paying jobs our young adults are no longer willing to work at or specialized trades in which our demand exceeds the supply. We have the talent and education but where is the drive? We’ve made it too easy on our young adults to not work.

I know many tradespeople who are qualified to work in the high demand jobs living in B.C. interior, but they’d rather live the lifestyle than move to where the jobs are. We cannot expect businesses to create skilled jobs for us simply because we are here, just like they shouldn’t expect us to purchase from them for the same reason. We need to be taking education that will translate into a job when completing post-secondary education and be aware of where those jobs will be. If these young adults are only able to obtain internships in a down market, they applied for the position and are aware of the lack of pay. These internships are often highly competitive with high achievers filling the spots. They are building the skills they need and will be able to forego an entry-level position and often many of these people will become high earners.

I don’t condone the extent some of these corporations make use of such programs, but it does have a place.

I’m 26 years old with a degree and have seen first-hand the culture you’ll find at many post-secondary institutions and it is not promising. The focus is not on studies and the foresight into life after school is lacking. Many students take many additional years with no benefit, or just take a program with little to no job prospects locally or anywhere. If you want to work in a specific field, you better be prepared to go to where the work is or find that entrepreneurial spirit within you because you should not expect anyone, including the government, to hold your hand.

Yes our young adults are underemployed, but they are as much to blame as immigration policies or baby boomers delaying retirement. There are jobs, we just don’t want them badly enough.

Steven Schwartz