Innovation means no one ever 'graduates': Learning happens year-round. Industry and schools must adjust

Apr 03, 2019

Featuring Sheldon Levy, former CEO of NEXT Canada and NEXT Canada Board Member

In every sector you can name, digital innovation, particularly the potential of artificial intelligence, is driving dramatic change.

A recent report from RBC estimates that 25 per cent of current Canadian jobs will be heavily impacted by technology — and yet, even in the midst of all this potential displacement, the Canadian economy will need to add 2.4 million new jobs over the next four years, all of them requiring a new combination of skills.

We cannot afford or excuse this double-jeopardy for Canadian prosperity: jobs without people and people without jobs.

In the innovation era, that means closer collaboration between our post-secondary institutions and industry than ever before. To stay on top of changing workforce requirements, universities and colleges need to be more aligned with industry needs. Industry, meanwhile, must also step up with support for future talent. No employer can expect new graduates to be job-ready on Day 1 without providing meaningful internship and co-op opportunities — and having meaningful discussions with their university and college partners about how these programs can help them meet future needs.

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