Student job prospects improve

Summer job prospects for students received a boost recently from the Alberta Government.

An additional $1.9 million was added to the government's Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP), bringing total funding for the program to $9.1 million this year. What it means is that more jobs will be available from not-for-profit employers.

"This is an established long-standing program. Given the economy, we want to make sure that young people have every opportunity to find jobs," says Minister of Employment and Immigration, Hector Goudreau. "This year's increase will significantly improve job prospects for students and other Albertans."

Each summer the provincial government program subsidizes wages paid by not-for-profit employers to encourage higher salaries for short-term summer employment opportunities for students and unemployed workers. The program offers employers a wage subsidy of $7 an hour.

More than 2,100 STEP positions will be available this summer – an increase of 450 positions over last year. STEP provides students and other Albertans with unique learning opportunities and helps employers find enthusiastic employees with fresh ideas.

To qualify for the program, employers must provide continuous, full-time employment between 30 to 40 hours per week up to a maximum of 16 weeks. Priority will be given to employers offering full-time employment for the longest duration between April 27 and August 28.

Eligible employers include registered not-for-profit community organizations, First Nations bands, Métis settlements, municipalities, regional health authorities, regional school divisions and post-secondary institutions.

Employers who are interested in finding out more about the program or are interested in applying for STEP can visit Applications must be postmarked on or before Mar. 6, 2009 to be considered.

The STEP program started in 1972.