Robeson said every students struggles with different financial issues, but the budget failed to address the most common issues involving OSAP, tuition cost, and living expenses.
“In the federal budget, there was no real mentions of any improvements being made to student support,” Robeson said.
“So, ultimately that would be my number one recommendation, that financial aid be the number one priority in the government’s recent budget.”
On March 29, at Queens Park, Andrea Horwath also criticised the budget for not focusing more on the needs of recent grads entering the job market.
Horwath said her party believes the government should focus on implementing plans that encourage companies to create more jobs. In other words, if money is to be used for corporate tax credits, then it should garner a return in job creation that benefits all Ontarians.
“We would rather reward companies that create jobs, so if you create a job, then you get a tax credit. If you invest in Ontario, then you get a tax credit,” Horwath said.
Robeson agrees with Horwath that the government should implement more innovative ideas to invest in Ontario’s education sector, however, he advises students to also make their own fortune.
Robeson said utilizing services such as Centennial’s career centre is one way, but he said there is more students can do to help themselves get hired.
“Those who are entering the job market right now should utilize the network they have established through their peers, whether it is in post-secondary education or prior to that,” Robeson said.
Robeson also said students can benefit from using government websites such as CharityVillage.com and the Ontario public sector website.
“I’d also recommend that students look outside their current community and search for opportunities throughout Ontario, if they are comfortable with that.”
This growing trend of Ontario grads leaving their communities and sometimes the province, is one that Horwath finds problematic.
She said she has met with a number of students who tell her the same thing: they are well educated in Ontario, with a B.A or even a PHD and still struggle to find employment.
Feeling despaired, these students leave the province in search of employment—taking with them a large student debt.
According to Horwath this is not the way it should be.
“This is no way to instill a sense of hope and opportunity for young people,” said Horwath.
“That’s why I believe the government missed the mark on this budget; the jobs focus needs to be there,” Horwath said.