The skills revolution is affecting people in every corner of Canada — so we set out to talk to them.

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A year ago, RBC released Humans Wanted: How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption, a ground-breaking study on how Canada is shifting from a jobs economy to a skills economy and what we’re doing to prepare for this transformation.

Then we hit the road. We travelled from Halifax to Victoria, bringing together 5,000 Canadians to share our findings, and to discuss how the skills gap is changing the way we study, educate and run our businesses.

The result is our new report, Bridging the Gap: What Canadians told us about the skills revolution, which brings together the perspectives of educators, employers and youth on the skills revolution. What emerged was less about technology, and more about people. We heard some compelling ideas –big and small – from Canadians about how we can prepare for the future.

Among the messages we heard, Canadians feel the country needs more:

  • arts and sciences in our schools
  • management skills in the digital economy
  • digital skills in traditional industries
  • skills training for Indigenous youth
  • help for small businesses to hire students

Prosperity for all Canadians is directly linked to our ability to prepare young people to succeed in a fast-changing global economy. The themes and ideas that emerged from our cross-country journey offer a promising way forward for Canada as we enter the 2020s.

The future of work may be changing, but Canada’s youth have the potential, the ambition and power to impact the world around them.
 

John Stackhouse is a nationally bestselling author and one of Canada’s leading voices on innovation and economic disruption. He is senior vice-president in the office of the CEO at Royal Bank of Canada, leading the organization’s research and thought leadership on economic, technological and social change. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail and editor of Report on Business. He is a senior fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. His latest book is Planet Canada: How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future, which explores the untapped resource of the millions of Canadians who don’t live here but exert their influence from afar.

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