September 30, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, new graduates will be coming into the workforce amid a major downturn in the global economy. 

 “I feel nervous for our next graduating classes as they are pushed out of school into a very shaky economic situation due to this crisis,” said Samantha Newman Field, a resident of Baden, Ont., in an interview with Spoke.

“The quality of their last semester is greatly compromised which leaves many young, aspiring adults ill-prepared facing the unknown.”

Businesses are reducing graduate recruitment, resulting in fears of limited employment opportunities for graduating students.

Sannidhi Rana, a second-year public relations student at Conestoga College, wonders if the pandemic will get any better in Kitchener, Ont., on Thursday, April 16, 2020. (Kriti Thakur/ Spoke News). 

According to the Higher Education Policy Institute, the Institute of Student Employers conducted research with 124 graduate employers and the results showed 27 per cent of recruitment firms will be reducing the number of graduates that they are hiring this year.

Further, 28 per cent are uncertain about how the pandemic will affect their hiring process. 

“This year students will be graduating at the start of a recession that could last for some time,” the Institute reported.

Aditya Mihir Mahadoo, a student who graduated from Conestoga College in Feb. 2020 said, “I feel upset due to lack of work. A way out for it could be to work as a part-time worker to make some money and pay the bills.”

“But there isn’t a large scope of work available.”

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 48 per cent of small businesses are partially open due to the coronavirus, 31 per cent have fully announced their closure, and 20 per cent are completely open. 

“I graduated from Conestoga in December last year. I am lucky enough to have a full-time job. My classmates have been struggling for survival lately,” said Harsh Thakkar, a Kitchener resident.

Working in a financial company has made him realize the problems people are facing as they are unable to cover their debts due to the pandemic and are also relying on the banking services his company offers. 

Despite closing the non-essential businesses, more than 380 coronavirus cases have been considered positive in Waterloo as per the Region of Waterloo website. 

“I am scared to see the rise in the number of cases locally. However, looking at the speed of recovery, gives me hope and motivation to do my part,” said Lakshit Sharma, a resident of Waterloo.

The pandemic has left many students in a dilemma as the track into graduate jobs has been affected.

Many students will probably have to compromise their chosen career temporarily or permanently, said Field.

“Either way, it’s a time of great uncertainty, instability and an era which is going to impact the world forever.” 

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