Finding a summer job isn’t always easy and can be a real challenge for young people with disabilities, whether severe or light. However, better job equity, websites that have been developed and specific programs are designed to facilitate finding a summer job.
Summer job : An essential transition for young people with disabilities
For students with disabilities, finding a summer job is even more necessary than for those who do not have disabilities. Although they may not be always comfortable with “selling themselves” to an employer to land their first job, young people with disabilities could afterwards point to their summer job, capitalizing on this experience and so gain confidence and improve their personal self-esteem.
Tailored sites and programs
Aware that those with disabilities face difficulties in integrating into the labour market (across Canada, 10.4% of the active population with disabilities is unemployed compared to 6.8% of the population without disabilities) and that in spite of everything their skills are just as sought for as those of persons without disabilities, a number of entities have developed specific websites and programs to help their first contact with the working world. As examples, here are a few:
- Career Edge (https://www.careeredge.ca/for-job-seekers/) offers worthwhile paid internships in a wide variety of business sectors;
- LimeConnect (www.limeconnect.com) offers internships in collaboration with partner enterprises;
- Workink (www.workink.com) is a major job and career development portal for Canadians with a disability;
- National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS)supports accessibility by students with a disability to college and university studies.
Unsolicited applications : Targeting a company
As well as offers on websites or in the universities, a student with a disability can make an unsolicited application. To put all the odds on his side and quickly find a company that will provide a summer job, a youth would do well to focus his search on entities:
- That offer a job equity program;
- That have facilities and equipment for people with disabilities;
- That welcome, more than others, young people with disabilities, particularly banks (highest rate of disabled persons in the private sector), government services, the arts, culture, recreation, sports, services, transport trades and the primary sector.
A student with a disability can now take advantage of websites, specific programs and the Employment Equity Act, but should also remember the words of Richard Pimental on the question of hiring people with disabilities, “There are no good jobs for people with disabilities in your business, but there is a good person with a disability for each position in your company.”