International students struggle to earn enough to survive

Mar 11, 2024 | Canadian News, International News, News

Rishabh Jayaswal, a Humber College graduate, has been looking for a job for almost three months. But it’s all been in vain.

“I have been looking for a job rigorously for a month but no luck,” Jayaswal said.

Jayaswal holds a Humber postgraduate diploma in Project Management and a postgraduate degree in Business Analytics from George Brown College.

According to Statistics Canada, those in the 15 to 30 age group are less likely to land a job. This is because any recruiter who is hiring for a job requires at least three to four years of experience, even for entry-level positions.

The youth who have just graduated from school lack this experience and do not even get an interview for entry-level positions and can not enter the market.

Loveleen Kaur Hanjra, a mentor at Humber College’s Career Centre, said she has a changed view on the tight job market.

“There is actually a freeze in the market,” Hanjra said. She had initially believed the majority of international students didn’t know how to present and pitch themselves to Canadian recruiters.

An image of a person smiling.

Loveleen Kaur Hanjra, a career mentor at Humber College's Academic and Career Success Centre says she has a changed view on the freeze in Canadian job market. Photo credit: Abhisha Nanda

“I used to think that the problem (lay) with the technique being used to apply for jobs,” Hanjra said. “Building a good Canadian-style resume is one of the most important techniques.”

But it’s the economy.

She said she has a cousin who has been looking for a job for more than two months but has not heard any good news yet.

Hanjra said her cousin is told to come back to apply some other time when the company is hiring, but that time never comes.

“I have a changed view on the job market,” she said.

Aryan Sen, who holds an auto engineering degree from Mumbai University, agrees.

“When you are getting in the market, you don’t know what your approach should be or how your resume should be,” said Sen, who is also a graduate of Humber and George Brown in the same courses as Jayaswal.

He said he has been actively looking for a job for the past month and is focusing on finding the “right approach”.

“Recession surely has a role to play,” Jayaswal said.

Hanjra said more people are looking for a job than there are jobs.

“There will obviously be a huge gap in the market,” she said.

She said almost every recruiter looks for an unfair amount of experience, even for entry-level jobs, which makes no sense.

“How do they expect college graduates to have three to four years of experience,” Hanjra said.

She said she did not believe this problem was so severe earlier, but now she says her opinion has completely changed.

“Students are facing blank rejections, no feedback, which means no room for improvement,” she said.

Jayaswal said he hasn’t heard back from a recruiter at all.

“The biggest problem is that I just get a refusal,” he said. “I don’t hear back from them at all,”

But he is also hopeful as he said a few of his colleagues landed a job they wanted.

“It looks like it is getting better, but I am still not sure,” he said.