“Despite our sluggish economy and a low loonie, Canadians are confident about our ability to rebound quickly,” says Marc-Étienne Julien, CEO of Randstad Canada. “Canadians are eternally optimistic and with our dollar rebounding a bit in the first quarter and spending from the government promised in some of our hardest-hit areas, we do have reason to believe that we will end 2016 on a higher note than 2015.”

Not surprisingly, younger Canadians were more confident about the future than their older counterparts:

  • 68 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds employed in Canada believe that the economic situation in Canada will improve in 2016, versus 58 percent of 45 to 67 year-olds.
  • 18 to 24 year-olds were much more likely to expect to receive an increase in financial compensation this year
  • 53 percent of them expect to receive a one-time financial reward/bonus at the end of the year versus only 36 percent of those ages 45-67
  • 70 percent of them expect to receive a pay raise at the end of the year versus only 55 percent of those aged 46-67

the need for STEM skills

Canadians of all ages agreed that their employer has trouble finding the right talent today (54 percent), and 40 percent of them also said that their employer has an increasing need for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) profiles. More than half of respondents (55%) think that their employers should invest more in developing digital skills.

This is not entirely surprising, as Canadian employers have indicated for some time now that they struggle to recruit and retain the high-tech talent needed for our rapidly evolving workplaces in STEM fields. That being said, younger Canadians were least likely to say that more students should focus on a career in STEM, or that if they were 18 they would focus on a career in STEM (67% and 54% respectively, compared to 77% and 65% respectively for those 45-67 years old).  

“Our research shows that young Canadians’ favourite subjects in school are science, math, and technology, but that isn’t translating into a highly-trained technical workforce,” says Julien. “There’s a gap that needs to be bridged, and we all have a responsibility to address our country’s skills shortage.”

If you could go back in time, would you have chosen a different career path? Would it be in STEM?

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