Youth Unemployment Crisis Threatens Canada's Economy
TORONTO, August 22, 2023 – A new report is sounding the alarm on the youth unemployment crisis in Canada and the negative impact it will have on the economy if ignored.
Commissioned by the Prince’s Trust Group, His Majesty King Charles III’s charity focused on youth, the report surveyed 1,249 young Canadians aged 18-34 in June 2023. The research showed that young people know what skills are needed to do well in the world of work, and are eager to acquire them, but are not able to gain them through education systems and employers.
Only 28% thought that the Canadian education system provided them with the skills they needed to get a job, a consistent finding over the last three years the annual survey has been conducted.
This sentiment is eroding trust in Canadian youth’s valuation of higher education. When asked about the most important skills needed in the world of work today, youth ranked basic literacy and numeracy, employability skills, and digital and financial literacy as the most important, scoring between 86% and 78% respectively. That dropped to just 51% for university qualifications.
The persistently high youth unemployment rate, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the staggering increases in the cost of living, are jeopardizing young people’s current economic status as well as their long-term economic independence. 1 in 3 are not confident that they will have a fulfilling career or that they will always be able to get a job.
“Prolonged unemployment or underemployment during the early career years can exacerbate existing income and social inequalities and lead to lower lifetime earnings and retirement savings for individuals,” said Farah Mohamed, CEO of Prince’s Trust Canada, “Failing to integrate young talent into the workforce at an early stage not only stunts their professional development but also stifles the innovation and productivity that propels economic growth. Action is imperative, as we stand at a crossroads that will determine the future trajectory of Canada's prosperity.”
“Young people represent a dynamic pool of talent and creativity that serves as the engine of innovation and progress. Our future is in their hands, but their voices are not heard often enough at the decision-making table,” said Kim Hallwood, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Bank Canada, “We are proud to partner with Prince’s Trust Canada to help more young Canadians gain the employability skills and experience they need for the future of work.”
In summary, the report calls on the government, education institutions, and employers to work together to do more to help young people prepare for and enter the labour force, including:
- Close the Jobs Gap: create more entry-level roles to provide young professionals with a steppingstone into their careers.
- Close the Skills Gap: align education with the needs of employers, ensuring that graduates possess the skills in demand.
- Close the Experience Gap: encourage hands-on learning and empower youth with practical experience.
Prince’s Trust Canada
Prince’s Trust Canada (PTC) is His Majesty King Charles’ flagship charity in Canada. PTC helps build a more sustainable Canada by partnering with employers to help equity-deserving youth and Veterans secure meaningful employment through training and mentorship.
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Prince’s Trust Canada is a member of The Prince’s Trust Group – a global network of charities including the work of Prince’s Trust U.K., Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, USA and Prince’s Trust International.
HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, is the leading international bank in the country. HSBC helps companies and individuals across Canada to do business and manage their finances here and internationally through four businesses: Commercial Banking, Wealth and Personal Banking, Global Banking, and Markets and Securities Services.
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC Bank Canada, is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories. With assets of US$3,041bn at 30 June 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations.
For more information visit www.hsbc.ca or follow them on X: @HSBC_CA or Facebook: @HSBCCanada.
|Media Contact PTC
Senior Manager, Public Affairs
|Media Contact HSBC
Head of External Communications
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1249 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th - 15th June 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all young adults in Canada (aged 18-34).