Earning cash through­out the summer is crucial when it comes to either saving for the next school year or paying off those daunting student loans. Now with the struggling economy in the news every day, finding that great summer job may be slightly trickier than in previous years.

However, the Ontario government is making it easier for students to gain practical hands-on experience this summer while earning money. As a student, there are a variety of different programs to help you. Some of these include job preparation, wage subsidies and even the opportunity to run your own business. Read on for more:

Summer job service: Free job-search and self-marketing support is available to help students find summer jobs. A $2 per hour wage subsidy is available for eligible employers who provide summer job placements.

Summer company:
This program helps students start up and run their own summer businesses. It offers hands-on business support and skill development and awards of up to $3,000.

Summer experience program: This program provides a variety of summer positions in the Ontario Public Service, its related agencies and community groups. Jobs include some bilingual positions, and are available in many areas, including travel and tourism. These positions range from six to eight weeks.

Ontario government regular student summer hiring: Ontario government ministries and agencies provide a wide range of interesting summer jobs for students throughout Ontario. These jobs range from six to 16 weeks.

For a complete description of services and eligibility, visit www.ontario.ca/employmentontario.

Another service the government offers is access to Employment Resource Centres.

These centres offer free services to community members and assist you with your job search — including employment coaching, resumé critiques, workshops and access to a variety of job postings.

Take advantage of all the services and support available to assist you in landing that great summer opportunity.

– Tracy Rogers is the Career Services Co-ordinator for Seneca College, Seneca@York Campus.

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