Students struggle in job market

Logan Edgar.
Logan Edgar.
The latest Student Job Search (SJS) figures reveal many University of Otago students are doing it "tough" financially, and more people are competing for fewer jobs, Otago University Students' Association president Logan Edgar says.

The figures showed 3511 students had enrolled with SJS in the year to the end of October, a 42% increase on the same period last year, when 2474 enrolled.

The numbers of students placed in work through SJS was down 13% on last year.

Mr Edgar said the figures painted a "grim picture of how tough students are doing it financially".

"The latest unemployment figures show it's tough out there for everyone, but it's important the public see the opportunity SJS offers for one-off and part-time employment needs," he said.

The figures came at a time when many students were looking for holiday jobs.

"Students are now going into summer holidays, so there's a real opportunity for the public and private sectors to make the most of the students' break and, at the same time, give them extra experience to add to their CVs."

Psychology student Matt Cox, who has just completed his degree, said he was struggling to find work for summer and was considering applying for the unemployment benefit.

He said it was never easy to find holiday work in Dunedin because of the "sheer number" of students looking for jobs, but the job market seemed to be "a bit tougher" this year.

OUSA student support centre manager Matt Tucker said in the year to the end of October, it had provided 465 food packages to students, which was about the same number as last year.

The difficult job market meant some University of Otago students who expected to be able to find work were unable to, Mr Tucker said.

This meant they were reliant on the student allowance or their student loans to get by, which students were saying did not allow as much "discretionary spending" as in the past, he said.

Look harder

I'm sorry, but its hard to sympathise with students these days. I have spoken to at least a handful that say that there are no jobs. Yet, when I question them about whether they have talked to supermarkets etc they all say no. They have tried to get jobs at more glamorous places like bars and restaurants and when there was no luck decided there was no jobs. I know these people don't represent everyone, but when I was a student we earnt less, worked harder and took whatever job available to us. Very few of us worked the 'it' jobs in bars, cafes and restaurants.