March 27, 2017 5:05 pm
Updated: March 27, 2017 7:30 pm

N.B. students, businesses gather to discuss keeping graduates in province

WATCH: Students and business owners gathered in Sackville, N.B. Monday to discuss jobs and job creation and how to keep graduates in the province after leaving school. Global’s Paul Cormier reports.

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The provincial government is hosting its second summit on growing economic opportunities, this time with the focus on addressing some of the concerns raised in the first round of summits.

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“We did a series of opportunities summits to capture opportunities for economic growth and that fed the economic growth plan the N.B. government released last September,” said Susan Holt of the New Brunswick Jobs Board.

On Monday, students and business owners gathered  at Mount Allison to discuss prospects for jobs and job creation in the province.

One of the key elements discussed is how to retain students in the province after they graduate from post-secondary institutions.

“I think that the government is doing a great job at providing tools and resources, but I think one area that we’re lacking is on communication, in bringing together those resources,” said small business owner Sarah Short

“Students don’t know of the opportunities that they actually have.  You always hear people going out West for a job because there’s always jobs out there, well there’s jobs here, but no one knows,” Crandall University student Jasmine Wong added.

Another topic on students’ radar is debt. New Brunswick Student Alliance executive director Robert Burroughs said with student debt in New Brunswick 50 per cent higher than the national average, it needs to be addressed.

“While the TAB (Tuition Access Bursary) program and the tuition relief for middle class program are good programs, we know that tuition is less than half of what the real cost of education is here in New Brunswick and we have to be addressing the other 60 per cent or so of the cost,” Burroughs said.

The government will host other economic opportunity summits on various subjects, including tourism, energy and information technology, in the coming months.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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