Graduation time is near and many grads are worrying about their future.
There was a time when a University degree assured you a good job, good pay and a comfortable life. Not anymore.
“I’m really wanted to stay at New Brunswick, but there are not very many jobs here. So I might probably go to leave. I have no idea what I have to going.” said Courtney Winsor, who will graduate from St. Thomas University.
Today, the unemployment rate for young people in this country is close to 15 PERCENT – double of the general population.
Statistics Canada SAYS New Brunswick’s economy is continuing to sputter with the loss of 57-hundred jobs in February.
The real crisis is the increasing number of university and college grads who are underemployed or scraping by on low-paid, part-time jobs.
The third year at St. Thomas university student Madison Gillis has lots of friends facing this problem.
“In this province, it’s hard to combine at least you work minimum wage. It will stand somebody unless they work two or three of them even.” Gillis said.
To pay off their debts and avoid dead-end jobs, some students want to start up their own business.
Third year university of New Brunswick student Kelsey Hogan sees an opportunity in the food business.
Only five per cent of the food consumed in New Brunswick is locally grown because most people don’t have access to local food. Hogan wants to change this situation and create a “farmer’s market on wheels” to distribute locally-grown food such as vegetables, fruits and bread.
“One of the ideas that we’ve had is to include a story about the local farmers with each of the purchases. So if you are buying your carrots, for example, you have a story about the farmer who grew those carrots.” Hogan said.
The goal is to create a connection between people and the food they buy; and let them be more aware of where their food is coming from and the story behind it.
The idea was proposed five months ago at the Start-Up Weekend in Fredericton and will be ready to operate in May.
Fourth year STU student Sawyer Hannay is running his own Country Liberty clothing brand now. He wants to create a product that could proudly represent his culture, upbringing, and lifestyle.
“Our inspiration is easy, it is all around us every day and that’s what makes the brand so natural. We are country; we have lived our entire lives sharing traditional country morals and our brand is a true reflection of that, ”Hannay said.
In early September, the Country Liberty clothes started selling at the university of New Brunswick Student Union building retail store and also online.
After graduating, hannay plans to study for his master’s degree in unb and keep expanding his brand.
Recently, programs and events have been organized to help students create their own businesses like start-up weekend and youth entrepreneurship summit, which hosted by the Pond-Deshpande Student Ambassadors, a two-day summit to encourage youth to take action, seizes opportunities, leverage support and join the entrepreneurial community in Atlantic Canada.
This year, more students than ever have gotten involved.
Third year UNB student Connor Morand is one of them. He’s passionate about music and wants to start a music business.
“I think the biggest thing is you just have to be on broad. You have to find something you truly enjoy to do it. And you have to extremely passion it. No way of life will going be easy. If YOU truly passion about what you do, it not gonna matter in the end. And you will find a ten of successes.” Morand siad.
Right now jobs are hard to find, but some students believe creating their own jobs with their own companies. For them, it might be the best way to pursue their passion and build their careers and their way.