Students at Work : Market Overview |

Students at Work : Market Overview

In restaurants, along the shelves of grocery stores or at the cash of shops, many students make an attempt to reconcile temporary work with studying. Quebec is one of the provinces with the highest number of full time students with a job, behind Manitoba. What type of position do they choose and under what conditions? Current overview.

The issue of wages remains challenging when it comes to a first job, whether or not temporary. Since the beginning of the year, the Bécancour aluminum foundry has been in hot water and is facing accusations by students dissatisfied with their wage treatment – they criticize the Mauricie company for paying a lower rate than that offered to the plant’s casual employees, being $31.23 an hour instead of $40.31. It is a situation which could cost the company millions if the Human Rights Tribunal agrees with the plaintiffs. The verdict is expected to come down in the next few months.

According to Patrick Poulin, president of the recruitment division at Randstad, a company that specializes in personnel placement, recruitment and HR solutions, compensation is based on several factors. “The wage can vary depending on the type of position, the industry and the academic level of the student,” he says. A student at the end of their studies is more likely to get better pay than an inexperienced college student. But there again, a student who can perform the same tasks as a person on the job for 15 years cannot claim his salary.

The reality of the market

In order to pay the rent and tuition, student work is usually a response to a need for sustenance. However, these jobs are a great gateway to active life after receiving the degree. “Deciding to work in a company in his field of education allows both building professional experience and also opens doors with this employer upon graduation,” emphasizes Patrick Poulin.

Despite the need for greater scheduling flexibility, companies are increasingly open to positions for students. It is training which costs money for the organization, but at the end of the day brings many benefits. “Companies are increasingly confronted with a staff retention problem,” explains the president of the recruitment division at Randstad. “By training and retaining their best students within their ranks, they can ensure that they have high performing employees.”

Beware of your reputation

With temporary, seasonal or part time work, the student’s involvement in the work can also have an impact on the future professional’s career. “Just because it’s a student job is no reason to be less diligent,” remarks Patrick Poulin. “On the contrary, experience and a reputation are being built during this period. With the internet and word-of-mouth, it is now easy to know a candidate’s background and the conditions of his experience. It is important to leave a good impression with the employer.”

The recruitment specialist therefore recommends choosing a job with interesting and stimulating tasks, in a team in which you are likely to integrate well and, especially, with a company which has common values.

The back-to-school period is on our doorstep and there are many students currently seeking a job. Reconciling study and work is often difficult, such that this required passage is the gateway to a thriving career.

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