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.

As Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, John advises the executive leadership on emerging trends in Canada’s economy, providing insights grounded in his travels across the country and around the world. His work focuses on technological change and innovation, examining how to successfully navigate the new economy so more people can thrive in the age of disruption. Prior to joining RBC, John spent nearly 25 years at the Globe and Mail, where he served as editor-in-chief, editor of Report on Business, and a foreign correspondent in New Delhi, India. Having interviewed a range of prominent world leaders and figures, including Vladimir Putin, Kofi Annan, and Benazir Bhutto, he possesses a deep understanding of national and international affairs. In the community, John serves as a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, C.D. ‎Howe Institute and is a member of the advisory council for both the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute and the Canadian International Council. John is the author of four books: Out of Poverty, Timbit Nation, and Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution and Planet Canada: How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.