HALIFAX— Numbers released last week by Statistics Canada reveal that Nova Scotia has lost more jobs for young people than any other province in Canada. Over the last two years, the number of youth employed in the province has dropped from 63,400 to 57,200, a drop of 10%.
“Students in Nova Scotia are graduating into one of the weakest labour markets in Canada,” said Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia. “The data released by Statistics Canada confirms that this government has failed to create the job opportunities they promised young people when elected nearly 4-years ago.”
This news comes despite the government’s decision to create new barriers for youth to access skills training in Nova Scotia. In 2015, the government announced that it was lifting the 3% on university tuition fees, resulting in such fees increasing by 5.6% last year. This is the fastest rate of increase in Canada, compared to a national rate of 2.8%.
“When jobs are unavailable, the government should be doing everything in their power to make skills training more accessible,” said Kiddell. “Instead, this government has allowed college and university tuition fees to outpace inflation every year they have been in power.”
High tuition fees and student debt loads also prevent youth from pursuing other opportunities here in Nova Scotia. The high upfront cost to obtain a post-secondary education is a barrier that can prevent those in need of financial assistance from being able to fully participate in the economy for upwards of 10 years post-graduation.
“Students graduating with an average debt load of $38,000 aren’t in a position to become entrepreneurs and start businesses,” said Kiddell. “Student debt is forcing our graduates into a position where they leave Nova Scotia for job opportunities elsewhere.”
The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 650,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.
For more information:
Charlotte Kiddell, Chairperson, CFS-NS, (902) 580-5735, firstname.lastname@example.org