The workforce is in short supply. This is very much a current issue not just here in Quebec but on an international level as well. The unemployment rate is hitting an all-time low. Big companies as well as SMEs rival each in ingenuity and employers are going abroad to attract qualified workers.
The needs are pressing. We can all feel it.
The extent of this problem calls for a solution that is strategic, sustainable and long-term in nature.
Why? Because we haven’t seen anything yet.
Technological as well as economic evolution is profoundly transforming working life. The changes are so extensive that experts predict that eighty-five per cent of the jobs of 2030 do not exist today!
Children starting Kindergarten this year are going to be the young adults performing these new jobs within 10 to 15 years. If we want Quebec to maintain and affirm its position as a leader of the economy of the future, it is vital for us to be aware of this evolution and act now to anticipate it.
From word to deed.
We must realize the extent of the task that lies ahead for teachers and education specialists. These professionals will be the first to witness the impact of technological evolution on young people and their aspirations. Their work is essential in providing a perspective and opening up avenues for emerging possibilities. The question is, how can we help them in this?
In our role as enterprises or business leaders, we cannot be passive or indifferent to the work carried out by professionals in the education sector. We can create more connections between learning in school settings and its application within our organizations. All of this can be done while ensuring a safe (and necessary) distance between enterprises and schools, which allows young people the freedom to choose their own path.
Whether as part of the school curriculum or alongside it, organizations such as Kids Code Jeunesse, Youth Fusion, Technoscience and several others are involved and offering practical tools to professionals in the teaching field to develop young people’s interest and skills in science and technology.
Enterprises can provide support for these organizations’ initiatives by offering time and funding. In doing so, we can collectively contribute to building a scientific spirit, show young people the underlying tools and knowledge within technology, and support them as they develop and acquire both academic and profoundly social ideas. For the skills of the future are not limited to computational thinking and problem-solving alone; creativity, teamwork, critical thinking and empathy are also going to be indispensable.
We have a responsibility to make our own expertise available to young people. By opening the doors of our organizations, we can encourage experiential learning, offer mentorships and put forward positive models—all of which may spur the interest of young girls in particular for jobs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
We do not claim to have all the solutions and there is still much to do, but if we want to collectively be ready to face the new economy of 2030, it is our responsibility to act now.
Everything is happening today, in the classrooms.
Let us take action and support education to allow the next generation realize its own ambitions as well as those of Quebec.
Yannis Mallat, CEO of Ubisoft Canadian Studios
Andrée Cossette, Associate Director, Ubisoft Québec
Jimmy Boulianne, Managing Director, Ubisoft Saguenay