Young Workers Blog: Here’s what millennials want in 2018

Young Workers Blog: Here’s what Canadian millennials want in 2018A recent study by the World Economic Forum polled young Canadians from across the country on issues regarding the economy, governance, values, technology, and work. It found that Canadian millennials are worried about inequality, discrimination, and a lack of good jobs, and would like to see improvements to work-life balance and access to opportunities in 2018. 

Dubbed the “Global Shapers Survey,” the study highlights youth perspectives on the state of their country and the world, with the goal of promoting opportunities for young people to shape their collective future. It seeks to answer: 1) how do young people see their country and the world, and 2) what do they want to do about the current state of affairs? Below is a summary of the survey’s findings.

Economic Outlook: Canadian millennials are deeply worried about inequality, a lack of good jobs, and waning economic opportunities, as roughly 60% of survey respondents said “a lack of economic opportunity and employment” is the most serious issue facing our country today, followed by “inequality” linked to income disparities and discrimination (55%).  

Business and Workplace: The study also found that young people in Canada value work-life balance, with 51% of survey respondents agreeing that “it should be part of (an) employer’s mandate to ensure work/life balance.” As well, Canadian youth clearly believe that business has a role to play in addressing social problems, as nearly 80% of participants disagreed with the statement “companies should not be involved in addressing social problems that are not related to their business activities.”

Values and Society: When it comes to societal values, a majority of young Canadians support same sex marriage (87%) and believe that we should continue to welcome refugees to Canada (95%). Most young people also support women occupying workplace leadership roles such as Manager (83%) and CEO (73%). However, 59% of respondents said a lack of equal access to opportunities is the “most important thing” preventing Canada from being a truly free society.

Governance and Civic Engagement: With respect to governance and civic engagement, less than half of survey respondents (49%) agreed that “young people's views are considered before important decisions are taken” by elected officials. A majority (58%) believe that “changing policy in response to public feedback” would improve government transparency and accountability, while 55% said that “greater engagement with government (direct or online)” would help empower young people in Canada.

Technology and Innovation: Finally, on the issues of technology and innovation, nearly 82% of Canadian millennials believe their job will “change significantly” due to technological developments over the next 10 years, while two-thirds think learning will be transformed by technology. Only 11% of respondents agreed that technology is “destroying jobs,” which suggests that most young people in Canada hold favourable views towards technology as it relates to employment.

To learn more about the “Global Shapers Survey,” and to read the full findings, click here.