Canadians aged 14-29 are significantly less confident when it comes to their job prospects and how prepared they are for the future of work, found the inaugural RBC Future Launch study released March 5.

The survey of 1800 young Canadians revealed that new realities brought on by social-distancing, and general feelings of anxiety and fear over COVID-19 are all having a negative effect on young peoples' outlooks as they navigate their career paths. “Young Canadians believe learning in a pandemic is not adequately preparing them for getting a job. Almost half of those currently studying say that they feel education during COVID-19 is doing a worse job of preparing them for employment,” says RBC. 

The study also found “a stark divergence” between how young women are feeling when compared to their male peers. Feelings of worry increase among young women who have had their job situation affected by COVID-19 – and worsened if they identify as a visible minority or as LGBTQ2S+. 

According to a recent RBC Economics Report, Gen-Z women make up 2.5 per cent of the Canadian labour force, but account for 17 per cent of the total decline in employment during the pandemic. 

"The global COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended the lives of young people across our country. It's not surprising that they are feeling less confident when it comes to getting the jobs they aspire to," said Mark Beckles, Vice-President, Social Impact and Innovation, RBC.

Beckles says RBC Future Launch – a decade-long, $500 million commitment – aims to help young Canadians to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow. “We are working with our extensive partner network to find new ways to reach young people and ensure they have the supports they need to manage and thrive right now, so they are ready to find work and feel more confident as they establish themselves on their career path."