Automation to impact 50% of Canadian jobs in the next 10 years: RBC

Thursday March 29, 2018
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Mar. 29, 2018 - A new RBC research paper, Humans Wanted – How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption, predicts that 50 per cent of Canadian jobs will be disrupted by automation in the next 10 years.

As a result of this disruption, Canada’s Gen Mobile – young people who are currently transitioning from education to employment – are unprepared for the rapidly changing workplace. With 4 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.

“Canada is at a historic cross-roads – 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, president and CEO, RBC. “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.”

“There is a changing demand for skills,” said John Stackhouse, senior vice president, RBC. “According to our findings, if employers and the next generation of employees focus on foundational ‘human skills’, they’ll be better able to navigate a new age of career mobility as technology continues to reshape every aspect of the world around us.”

Key findings of the report:

• 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.
• Rather than a nation of coders, 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, resulting in roughly half a million 15-29 year olds who are unemployed and another quarter of a million who are working part-time involuntarily.
• 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.

“As digital and machine technology advances, the next generation of Canadians will need to be more adaptive, creative and collaborative, adding and refining skills to keep pace with a world of work undergoing profound change,” said McKay. “Canada’s future prosperity depends on getting a few big things right and that’s why we’ve introduced RBC Future Launch.”

Top recommendations from the report include:

• A national review of post-secondary education programs to assess their focus on “human skills” including global competencies.
• A national target of 100 per cent work-integrated learning, to ensure every undergraduate student has the opportunity for an apprenticeship, internship, co-op placement or other meaningful experiential placement.
• Standardization of labour market information across all provinces and regions, and a partnership with the private sector to move skills and jobs information to real-time, interactive platforms.
• The introduction of a national initiative to help employers measure foundational skills and incorporate them in recruiting, hiring and training practices.

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