Generation Jobless (Documentary)

My facebook friend (lol) posted this documentary on his wall and I watched it.

Generation Jobless
(full-length video is only viewable within Canada)

GENERATION JOBLESS delves into why so many young Canadians are overeducated and underemployed. The reality is that today’s twenty-something’s are entering an economy in the throes of a seismic shift where globalization and technology are transforming the workplace. Automation is replacing tens of thousands of jobs at a time. Companies fixated on the bottom line are outsourcing jobs and wherever possible getting computers to do the work. Employers are placing a higher premium on experienced workers, unwilling to invest in training new entrants to the workforce. So, young people are caught in a catch 22. How do you get experience if no one will hire you without it? Many are working for free as unpaid interns, just to try and get their foot in the door. And, for the first time in history youth are facing another unique challenge – competition with their parents’ generation for the small pool of jobs that do exist. Boomers who are delaying retirement.

This is depressing, but in a way it is true. Universities are becoming more and more like colleges, which means there are more practical courses and programs instead of providing opportunities to “learn.” When I was studying communications, I have seen changes in my department. Some people demand more practical programs, while others want to maintain their traditional role as a university by providing courses to contribute to body of arts.

There are few people pursue their career in academics and most of them will be working in a real world. Therefore, it is unavoidable that people will worry about their jobs and try to get some hands-on experiences before completion of university degree. I myself was one of them and I did co-op, volunteer, and intern. This experience definitely helped me to get both past and current jobs.

However, as the documentary suggests, many of jobs have already replaced with computers, organizations started hiring people on a contract basis or demand x years experiences when they post job openings. Under this competitive market and economic situation (student loan etc.), I really understand some university degree holders decide to work at a restaurant, retails or other job options which are not what they really want to pursue as a career.

This is not only an issue in Canada, but also in the U.S., Japan and many other developed countries. When I googled “generation jobless,” I found this PBS video on the same issue as well.

I am fortunate to have a job which relates my major, however, I always need to develop my skills, keep up with industry updates and grow every single day. Once you get a job, new issues will arise and you need to overcome this pressure. I think mental health at work should also be brought up more.