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The jobs are out there

Phil Duffy
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 30/01) - Students now in search of summer jobs are having a banner year. The Hire-a-Student program is posting more jobs than ever for the throngs of university students now arriving in town.

Employment officer Patricia Coyne is confident that there is work out there for students who are willing to look for it.

"The students who do the footwork are having no real problem finding employment," said Coyne.

The government provides two thirds of the summer jobs available to students while the private sector covers one third.

Last year the Yellowknife Hire-a-Student office filled 154 of the 165 private job postings.

"A lot of students see the government as the only place in Yellowknife that does summer hiring, and if they don't get hired on with the government they automatically think about heading south for work."

Some of the private sector jobs available through the program are at local businesses like stores and restaurants needing clerks, servers, cashiers, and maintenance. There is always plenty of outdoor work and general labour positions as well.

Hire-a-Student, a branch of the Department of Human Resources, offers its services absolutely free for students looking for employment and employers actively seeking to employ them.

The only condition of registration the office has is that you have to be a student or planning to return to school in the fall.

Staffed by one student employment officer, last year the centre boasted a success rate of filling 93 per cent of the jobs posted.

"Perseverance is the key to getting these jobs, many young people are too easily discouraged," Coyne said.

Jamie Look is a student looking for work who is utilizing the Hire-a-Student program.

"It has been quite a while since I was out looking for work and handing out resumes," said Look.

"Patricia at the Hire-a-Student office was an incredible help. We analyzed my job skills, she showed me how to update and improve my resume, and taught me some effective ways of selling myself to prospective employers."

Unlike the large impersonal Hire-a-Student offices in the southern cities, the office in Yellowknife actually makes the effort to phone its student clients to keep them updated on job opportunities.

"It was a friendly and comfortable atmosphere and I left feeling positive and confident. Two days later I was at a job interview set up by the program," added Look.

The office is located in the Joe Tobie building at 5020 48th Street. They are open 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. throughout the summer.