SJS - Sycamore Jovially Sympathises

Critic Volunteers Forced to Work for Free

Job-seeking tertiary students in Otago may be in for a weary hunt after student earnings, generated through Student Job Search, declined by six per cent in the early months of 2014, and overall earnings dropped by $700,000 in 2013. Total earnings of $7.353 million in 2013 were 8.6 per cent lower than the $8.051 million earned in 2012.

The average amount earned by an individual dropped from $1976 in 2013 to $1865 in 2014. New enrolments for SJS have also experienced a drop of nine per cent in the first two months of this year, compared to the same period in 2013. But despite these declines, 832 students have already been placed in employment during January and February this year, a five per cent increase on 2013.

Critic spoke with OUSA president Ruby Sycamore-Smith, who said it was “too early to tell anything substantial” from the drop in earnings. “From the decline in placements and earnings we saw last year we’re concerned that another year of decreases could be a bad sign for students who are needing to work due to the cut in student allowances.” She also added, “Students should be able to dedicate as much time as possible to study rather than being forced into a situation of having to work.”

The total placement of students in jobs has been declining over the past few years, with last year’s total placements of 4074 down from the 2010-2012 period, which saw declining placements of 5212, 4458 and 4293 respectively.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2014.
Posted 7:01pm Sunday 30th March 2014 by Laura Munro.