Record number of Okanagan students find summer jobs in chosen field

Record number of Okanagan students find summer jobs in chosen field
WATCH ABOVE: It's an all too familiar plight: students with a strong educational background and not enough work experience. But now, more young people in the Okanagan than ever before are finding summer work in their chosen field. Neetu Garcha reports.

The number of student summer jobs available in the Kelowna area through the Canada Summer Jobs Program has almost tripled from last year, according to the federal government.

READ MORE: Over 77,000 to have placements through Canada Summer Jobs program

The federal minister of small business and tourism, Bardish Chagger, was in Kelowna on Tuesday to make the announcement.

“Our government has approved funding for more than 77,000 jobs for Canadian students this summer – 7,779 of those jobs are in British Columbia, and 203 of them are right here in Kelowna,” Chagger said at Tuesday’s news conference held at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Full-time UBC Okanagan student, Victoria Moore, is working her dream job as an art instructor at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

“Opportunities like this tend to be few and far between,” Moore said.

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WATCH BELOW: Federal government announces record student summer jobs in Kelowna

Record number of Okanagan students find summer jobs in chosen field
Record number of Okanagan students find summer jobs in chosen field

Her job is among a record number of positions available in B.C. this year through the program. The federal government says the growth is thanks to unprecedented interest from both employers and students.

“Having this job makes it a lot more possible for me to take the classes that I want because there’s some that the material cost is so expensive that I can’t choose to take it unless I make enough money over the summer,” Moore said.

Under the program, the government subsidizes summer wages for young people who are between 15 and 30 years old. The applicants must have been full-time students in the past academic year and they must be planning to return to school in the coming year.

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Laura Wyllie is the programming coordinator at the art gallery. She was a summer student through the program last year, now she’s a permanent employee.

“I got to stay, so now, what went from just a summer student job has become kind of my dream job that I didn’t think I could possibly land, but here I am,” Wyllie said.

Now Moore is hoping getting her foot in the door, will also help lead her to her dream career.

The Canada Summer Jobs Program provides funding to non-profit organizations, public sector employees and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for students.