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Canadian youth report feeling hopeful, but nervous about future employment opportunities: new survey

RBC introduces Upskill, an online resource to help prepare Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow

TORONTO, October 16, 2018 - An RBC survey of more than 2,000 Canadians aged 15-24, has found that across every province and major city, youth are feeling hopeful, but nervous about their future employment prospects. To help young people turn that hope and nervousness into confidence, RBC Future Launch has created RBC UpskillTM, an online resource using the most current Canadian labour market data to help young people understand how their past experiences and current skills will help prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

“Overwhelmingly, Canadian youth are feeling anxious and unprepared about entering the workforce, but there’s a silver lining – they also have underlying optimism and excitement for the future,” said Valerie Chort, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC. “By launching RBC Upskill, we’re offering a freely accessible tool that provides easy-to-understand, personalized information on career possibilities that will help young Canadians build confidence as they navigate their future career prospects.”

RBC Upskill offers young Canadians:

  1. Personal skills profiles based on experience to help the young person understand the skills they have to offer.
  2. Career suggestions based on underlying skills and interests to explore real opportunities in the Canadian labour market.
  3. Additional information and resources, including tips for skills-based resume writing and networking which will help the young person move forward and take action.

“RBC Upskill is not only a useful tool for young people, but it’s also a resource for parents who want to give advice but aren’t sure what to say because today’s job market is largely unrecognizable from when they were starting out,” said Mark Beckles, Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation, RBC. “If we can also equip parents with confident advice, perhaps we can relieve some of the nervousness youth are feeling.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • While most young people have some idea of the professional area they want to pursue, and are confident it will be in demand in the future, they appear to have mixed feelings about entering the workforce, with only a fifth saying that they feel very prepared to do so.
  • When it comes to accessing career advice, the majority of youth across the country report that their parents are the first stop (8 provinces1), followed by online resources (8 provinces).
  • The majority of Canadian youth (83%) believe that a part-time job is the best way to develop professional skills. However, Statistics Canada reported that the summer employment rate for youth aged 15-24 who are returning to school was just 50.9 per cent in 2018.
  • When it comes to their top worries about future employment, rejection due to lack of experience is at the forefront, followed by finding satisfying work.

Survey Methodology
From September 17 to 24, 2018 Maru/Blue conducted an online survey amongst 2,022 Canadians from across the country, 984 of whom were aged 15 to 17 and 1,038 of whom were 18 to 24 years old. The survey was conducted in both English and French.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at‎

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For more information and additional provincials and major city results, please contact:
Elynn Wareham, RBC Corporate Citizenship Communications, 416-313-5778

1 Youth were surveyed nationwide but PEI did not reach a statistically significant number of responses so results are based on 9 provinces, not 10.

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