In a survey conducted by Statistics Canada, post-secondary students are graduating with an average debt load of nearly $27 thousand. The job market has yet to fully recoup the jobs lost by young Canadians during the economic downturn. Contradicting this information is the importance of education in finding employment: Canadian Business notes that “youths with more schooling consistently exhibit lower rates of unemployment than their less educated counterparts.” Indeed, more and more young Canadians are enrolling in universities and colleges, partly in response to a rough job market, according to a survey done by Canadian Business. So where does this leave students?

Many students turn to the option of a part-time job, many of which turn out to be in the retail industry. In 2006, there were between two and three times more people than average under 25 working part-time jobs according to Service Canada. Employers are increasingly recruiting youth between the ages of 15 and 29 and people 55 and older. A sign of this new approach is that the proportion of people 15 to 19 years of age in the retail industry has increased from 15 percent to 26 percent between 1997 and 2010 according to data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.

The best resource for these part-time workers in the retail industry is their membership within a union, UFCW Canada—The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). The union is dedicated to helping its members, and doing a lot of interesting things in the process. Because of the youthfulness of the union, and the desire to help its members, an initiative was created called the Beggs-Dowling-Mathieu Scholarships Program. Over the past two decades it has awarded more than $250 thousand in scholarships to UFCW Canada members and members of their families. As a source of help, this scholarship provides support and opportunities to the recipient. Even more exciting, is the chance to win an iPad along with the scholarship. If a member decides to refer another member, he or she will be entered for a chance to win.

Each year UFCW Canada offers 18 annual Beggs-Dowling-Mathieu Scholarships. Each is worth $1000 and given to an active member or member of their family for post-secondary study. If you are a UFCW Canada member, you, your spouse, and your children are eligible to apply if you are attending full-time studies at a Canadian university, college, or other recognized post-secondary institution.

The usual assumption is that you have to be an A+ student to receive a scholarship; however, with the BDM scholarship this is not the case. All it requires is a passion for learning, enrollment at a post-secondary institution, and just a few minutes to complete the online application which can be found at <>. Take advantage of this resource today and apply, let UFCW Canada help you through your post-secondary education.



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