Supporting university students to succeed
Universities Canada’s submission to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Canadian and international labour markets are going through a period of change at an unprecedented pace, driven by technological advancements, automation, demographic shift and continued globalization. These changes are transforming the way we work as well as the skills and educational requirements of the labour force, with more jobs requiring higher levels of skill and postsecondary degrees.
According to OECD 2017 data, Canada continues to do better than most countries when it comes to youth participation in the workforce. The employment rate of Canadian youth 15 to 24 years old stands at 56.5 per cent compared to 45.7 per cent in Germany, 50.3 per cent in the US, and an OECD average of 40.8 per cent. But, we can do better and must act now to position Canada for future success.
Ensuring all Canadians can participate in, and effectively adjust to, changes in the labour market will be essential to Canadian prosperity. There is a need to examine how – across sectors and with government support – we can best prepare Canada’s youth for the future.
Universities Canada’s recommendations:
To help our youth navigate the changing nature of work, we recommend:
- That the government double investment in the Student Work-Integrated Learning Program, thereby engaging more employer partners across sectors and benefiting students across all disciplines in order to meet the 100 per cent target set by the Business Higher Education Roundtable.
- The creation of a pan-Canadian global education strategy with a target to increase the percentage of Canadian postsecondary students who participate in learning abroad
opportunities to 25 per cent within 10 years.