Too many young people flounder around the margins of their chosen field, bouncing from unpaid internship to short term contract to coffee shop job. Youth unemployment continues to hover stubbornly around 13 per cent, only 2 per cent lower than its peak during the recession and double the national average. And the unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story. According to a recent report published by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the rate of those underemployed − people stuck in part-time or low income jobs, unable to secure full-time work related to their field − is double the unemployment rate.
It seems like a bleak picture. And yet, if some politicians and employers are to be believed, Canada is facing a severe shortage of skilled labour. Last year, a Canadian Chamber of Commerce report estimated that skilled job vacancies would hit 1.5 million by 2016. Those most in demand are said to be in the STEM fields: scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. In multiple surveys, employers complain that not only are applicants graduating from university without the needed technical knowledge, but also with a lack of soft skills such as communication, analysis and collaboration.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The expectation gap: Students’ and universities’ roles in preparing for life after grad – The Globe and Mail.