Servant To Opportunity

Source. Wikicommons public domain section, and contributed by “Diego UFCG”.

There’s good advice, bad advice, and then there’s advice given by the Bank Of Canada governor to young people, where he suggests they work for free if they cannot find a job, so they can bolster their experience in the field they want to work in.

I’m sorry, but I was under the impression volunteer work was supposed to cover that. Now he wants our young people to work for free as well?

I’m sure Mr. Stephen Poloz means well when he says, “If your parents are letting you live in the basement, you might as well go out and do something for free to put the experience on your CV”. Fair enough — for those who are living at home. The problem with that statement, in addition to the unemployment situation being more complex and serious than he thinks, is that not all are living at home with Mommy and Daddy. Some have their own place, paid for by their government loans or through a minimum-wage job that just barely covers expenses. Others may be on the street and going through social assistance programs to get a job so they can get off the street.  Today’s young people are facing an anaemic economy that is generating very few jobs, and these are being fought over by more than one generation of job-seekers. Having more experience will not guarantee employment because of this supply vs demand imbalance. Creating more jobs, on the other hand, certainly will improve the odds of getting hired.

The big miss by Poloz, who according to Maclean’s Magazine earns between $431,800 and $507,900 a year, is that Corporate Canada is trying to keep HR costs down in this age of “We must do more with less!”. They’ll exploit these young people, despite protective provincial internship legislation recently put in place. The moment any of these free workers expresses a desire to be paid, the company in question will cut them loose and find someone else desperate enough to work for free. It will do jack-sprat-nothing to reduce the chronically high unemployment rate young people experience as well.

Yes, Poloz’s heart is in the right place, but he also inadvertently endorses a form of indenture labour that justifies the poor performance of the economy, without doing anything to get all Canadians back to work.  That’s not what our young people went through many years of post-secondary education for. That’s not what our young people went into debt for.

They went through all of that for a job. One that pays, I should add.

Thanks for reading!



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