WINDSOR, ONT. -- Youth ages 15 to 24 years old saw the biggest decline in employment in the month of March compared to men and women over the age of 25.

Youth unemployment rate

In the wake of the high youth unemployment numbers, the University of Windsor has created a Student Relief Fund to support students experiencing financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic. Public donations will be accepted on their website.

Students can apply for the fund through the school’s awards office where donations will be processed.

“It’s not an academic based award, it really is based on need. For things that students have found themselves unexpectedly impacted,” says Patti Lauzon, director of alumni affairs at the University of Windsor.

As exams are wrapping up at the university, some students are worried about the status of their summer employment and internships.

Danny Dylong, a 2nd year student at the University of Windsor, was hoping to work at a sports retail store this summer.

“I applied to the job, the next day it was shutdown because it was not considered non-essential,” says Dylong.

He’s considering applying for essential jobs such as a grocery store position but says the competition amongst students is high.

“Am I last to the dance? Yeah they’re in demand but look how many people have applied before me.”

As a full time student, Dylong depends on his summer job to fund his expenses for the entire year.

“For me I need the four months to pay rent for the year. If I don’t start (working) in May or June, I can’t pay rent for the rest of the year.”

The federal government has announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program. Employers who hire summer students can apply for a subsidy of up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial hourly minimum wage.

This will help create up to 70,000 jobs for Canadians between the ages of 15 and 30.