‘Canada is on the brink of a skills revolution and we have a responsibility to prepare young people for the opportunities and ambiguities of the future’

Mario ToneguzziA new RBC research paper, Humans Wanted: How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption, says 50 per cent of Canadian jobs will be disrupted by automation in the next 10 years.

With four million Canadian youth entering the workforce over the next decade, and the shift from a jobs economy to a skills economy, the research indicates young people will need a portfolio of “human skills” to remain competitive and resilient in the labour market, says the report.

“Canada is at a historic crossroads – we have the largest generation of young people coming into the workforce at the very same time technology is starting to impact most jobs in the country,” said Dave McKay, RBC president and CEO, in a statement. “Canada is on the brink of a skills revolution and we have a responsibility to prepare young people for the opportunities and ambiguities of the future.”

The report found:

    • Canada’s economy is on target to add 2.4 million jobs over the next four years, virtually all of which will require a different mix of skills;
    • a growing demand for “human skills” will grow across all job sectors and include: critical thinking, co-ordination, social perceptiveness, active listening and complex problem solving;
    • digital literacy – the ability to understand digital items, digital technologies or the Internet fluently – will be necessary for all new jobs;
    • Canada’s education system, training programs and labour market initiatives are inadequately designed to help Canadian youth navigate the new skills economy;
    • Canadian employers are generally not prepared, through hiring, training or retraining, to recruit and develop the skills needed to ensure their organizations remain competitive in the digital economy.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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