Employees always looking for students to fill summer jobs

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Students looking for summer jobs are finding it easier to choose this year as the job market rebounds.

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Esmée Roy started her summer job search at the start of the year, and quite by accident. Hearing her sister apply by phone in April to work at the Voiles en Voiles adventure park in the Old Port, she asked her if there was also a place for her.

She got a phone interview right away and an in-person meeting soon after.

The 18-year-old CEGEP de Brébeuf student and her sister, Saydie, now work almost full-time at the popular Old Montreal attraction, guiding clients through the aerial ropes course and making sure they respect COVID-19 protocols.

“It’s really cool,” she said. “My colleagues are all so nice and it’s a great atmosphere.”

Esme is one of legions of Montreal students struggling to enter the summer job market in a work environment hampered by uncertainty due to rapidly evolving restrictions linked to the pandemic.

Many find that there is work to be done. Restaurants and bars, summer camps, warehouses, bars and retail stores are among the many looking for workers after a tough year.

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Amélie Bélanger, Human Resources Coordinator for the Ecorécréo Group at Voiles en Voiles in the Old Port of Montreal.
Amélie Bélanger, Human Resources Coordinator for the Ecorécréo Group at Voiles en Voiles in the Old Port of Montreal. Photo by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

Voiles en Voiles is part of the Écorécréo tourist attraction group which employs more than 300 people during the high summer season. Most are former employees from previous years, or family or friends of employees who apply. Recruitment manager Amélie Bélanger says most positions are already filled, with the exception of their Aquazilla site in Oka and activities at Parc Jean-Drapeau, which are considered more remote and therefore more difficult to staff. Her advice to young job seekers: with the sheer number of choices available, look for something you enjoy doing, rather than just focusing on the salary.

Restaurant owners and other businesses are helped by the government no longer distributing emergency pandemic response benefits like it did last year, prompting some potential employees to stay at home. But many are suffering because former employees who couldn’t wait eight months to resume work when restaurants were closed have found work elsewhere.

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“We believe that the students will show up,” said Martin Vézina, director of public affairs for the Association Restauration Québec. “But the problem is, we don’t have enough students or young people for all the jobs that we currently have available.”

Vézina predicts that the summer labor shortage will become particularly acute in popular tourist regions as Quebec tourists stranded on international trips and desperate for a change of scenery flood the beautiful province and flood restaurants.

According to data compiled by the job search site Indeed.com, the number of summer job postings as a proportion of total job postings in Quebec – which means ads with “summer” or ” summer ”in their title – was similar this year to the numbers seen in the pre-pandemic summer of 2019. Compared to last year, when COVID-19 closed summer camps and many other activities seasonal, the total number of jobs is much better.

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“Overall, job vacancies in Quebec are much higher this year, up 30% at the start of June from their pre-pandemic level, suggesting that seasonal demand for workers in Quebec is also stronger this year than in 2020, “said Brendon Bernard, senior economist at Indeed Canada. written in an email.

By far the most common summer job listing on their site was that of a camp counselor, followed by day laborer, student assistant, window cleaner, camp manager and maintenance worker.

Yimaj Baharun, a 17-year-old international business student at Dawson College, began distributing his resume to hardware stores and fast food outlets near his home around June 1. When they didn’t get any calls in a week, he turned to Indeed.com, uploaded his resume, and applied for a dozen jobs. Lacking work experience, he turned mainly to warehouse type jobs. His phone started ringing a few days later, and on June 9, he was hired by the AMJ Campbell Montreal moving company in Lachine, after an in-person interview. He works with a team of about six regular full-time employees, processing orders and preparing furniture for transport on trucks from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., five days a week.

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“It’s a great place,” Yimaj said of his first real job. “Everyone is really nice and hardworking, and it’s a great atmosphere.”

Compared to the situation in Edmonton, where he previously lived and where his friends are struggling to find work, Yimaj said he found the employment situation in Montreal to be relatively generous.

This is certainly the case with summer camps, which are still struggling to find staff to fill the positions, said Valérie Desrosiers, communications manager for the Association des camps du Québec. Because the government only gave the go-ahead for the sleepover camps to open on May 6 (and put camp staff on priority immunization lists), many students who normally rely on salaries from their counselors to pay for school had already registered to work elsewhere.

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Although capacity is reduced in some camps for security reasons, the camps require as much if not more staff due to the additional cleaning and hygiene requirements brought by the pandemic. The same goes for restaurants.

“The customers are there, we saw this excitement in the restaurants,” said Vézina. “The employees are happy to be there, the atmosphere is there.

“We just need to find people to work. “

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Some useful links for a summer job search:

Emploi-Québec has a site designed to help students find a job and describes how to write a curriculum vitae at www.quebec.ca/en/emploi/emploi-etudiant

The online job search site Indeed.com allows users to search by job type and location

CEGEPs and universities have job boards where employers post jobs, especially looking for students for full-time or part-time employment.

The Association québécoise des camps has a site (campsquebec.com/emplois) listing the jobs available for sleepovers and day camps.

There are many Facebook sites posting job vacancies for particular types of employees. Staff at Bar & Resto Montreal (www.facebook.com/groups/SBRMTL/), for example, has many job offers in bars and restaurants.

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