According to a recent survey of more than 1,500 Canadians, 85 percent of young people aged 18 to 34 believe artificial intelligence will be a threat to the job market within the next 10 years, while 25 percent believe it’s already an issue.
The survey was conducted by Maru/Matchbox on behalf of Centennial College post-graduate public relations students in partnership with CivicAction, a nonprofit organization that creates collective action on big urban challenges.
“Understanding how young people feel about the future of work isn’t a ‘nice to have’, it’s a ‘need to know’,” says Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction. “Millennials make up the largest percentage of Canada’s workforce at 37 per cent and are already shaping our workforce’s relationship with technology and automation.”
The survey explored how young people feel about the changing landscape of work and which institutions are taking steps to best prepare for it. It also showed a relative optimism in millennials’ ability to adapt to the changing work landscape, including the following insights:
- Even with the impending threat of AI to the future job market, young people are still relatively optimistic, with 71 percent of respondents believing they will be able to make a good living throughout the course of their career.
- Approximately three in five young people are confident corporations and post-secondary institutions are taking steps to prepare for the changing landscape of work. Millennials are less confident that government is doing likewise.
- The top three things young people believe are negatively affecting their employment opportunities: the competitive labour market (60 percent); changing skillset requirements (55 percent); and lack of personal network (53 per cent).
“As students who are just about to enter the job market, these results confirm our own experiences and feelings about the impact of automation on our future employment,” says Mary Davidson, one of five public relations students at Centennial College.
Davidson and her team helped conduct the survey as part of the ‘Generation Uncertain’ campaign, created and executed by the students for a course that has them working with real clients on real issues.
“Our generation is concerned about how employment is changing, yet optimistic in our ability to adapt,” Davidson noted about the results.
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