There is no denying that today’s students are the future of the public service. The opportunities they are given now in the public service are essential to the future not only of Canada’s government, but of its society and economy as a whole.
A recent report from Universum found that Canadian students are more interested in joining the public service than they are in joining businesses and other private organizations. The numbers suggest that students’ interest in the industry is something the government should be harnessing.
Certainly, the government is taking steps to give young people job experience in the public service. In May, the government announced that it would create 36,000 summer jobs for students under the Harper Government’s Canada Summer Jobs Initiative. And there is the Youth Employment Strategy, which gives young people the resources they need to transition into the labour market.
But while helpful, these opportunities are not specifically targeted at recruiting new graduates for the public service. At a time when thousands of public servants are being laid off, and what few jobs available to the public are internships, term contracts and upper level management positions, more needs to be done. There is little incentive for new graduates to look to the government for employment.
Given the state of global economies, it’s understandable that the government isn’t in a position to hire as much as it would like to. But at some point, new graduates will need to know that the contract positions they do manage to land in the public service will eventually pay off and turn into something more permanent. Otherwise, young people will be taking all that talent and passion elsewhere.
Is the government doing everything it can to get more young people into the public service? Let us know in the comments.