Five things I learned from CBC’s Generation Jobless

What the experts are saying about the new jobs reality


CBC’s new Doc Zone documentary Generation Jobless covers some familiar terrain: well-educated young Canadians can’t find jobs and are instead stuck in serving jobs or cycling through unpaid internships. It’s much the same story Maclean’s covered here in The New Underclass. The show did, however, add some interesting ideas to the conversation. Here are five things I learned from watching it.

1. Master’s degrees make some people less employable because employers know the graduate’s pay expectations will be higher, says Lauren Friese, owner of the job site TalentEgg.

2. Technology giants aren’t our saviours. They’re not creating as many new jobs as we think. Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon and Twitter combined employ just 20,000 people.

3. Even in economically choppy Europe, there are places with virtually no youth unemployment. Switzerland is one. There only 20 per cent of students are admitted to university, half as many as in Canada. Most start three-year apprenticeships at age 18 anywhere from factories to banks.

4. Futurist Thomas Frey says that jobs won’t be common in the future. Instead, the average person will have worked on hundreds of small projects by the time they’re 30. It’s also predicted that technology just over the horizon, like self-driving cars, will put even more people out of work.

5. Canada is rare among western nations in having no national strategy matching education and training to jobs. Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, says a national strategy isn’t needed because education and training is the purview of the provinces.

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