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Future-proofing youth: skills & career hacks for the future of work on World Youth Skills Day

For immediate release:  July 10, 2019 – Download PDF version

TORONTO – Canada Learning Code (CLC) and RBC Future Launch will host a special evening looking to the future of work for World Youth Skills Day on July 15. A Speed Networking for Teens session, followed by an expert panel discussion will give young learners the opportunity to engage with tech leaders. The RBC Foundation, in support of RBC Future Launch, has committed $500,000 towards CLC’s Teens Learning Code and Code Mobile initiatives, delivering in-person, enhanced coding curriculum and education to teens in underserved communities.

Our research tells us that young people lack relevant experience. A recent McKinsey study reported that 83% of educators feel youth are prepared for work, yet only 34% of employers agree. They lack relevant skills: According to the World Economic Forum, 33% of core skill-sets for most jobs will be different in 2020 and the Brookfield Institute predicts 42% of the labor force will have skills that are at risk of automation in 10-20 years. Creating opportunities for youth to learn the skills required for future success will have an outsized impact of Canada’s future prosperity.

The July 15 CLC + RBC collaboration will build on the success of Canada Learning Code’s programs to empower Canadians to be a part of the digital future, with an emphasis on marginalized groups and those under-represented in the tech sector, while giving youth the opportunity to learn from leaders to help them chart a path to success.

“Creating opportunities for young Canadians to learn coding and digital skills alongside industry leaders will have an outsized impact on future Canadian prosperity. Teaching youth the hard skills and portable life skills needed for success is the greatest gift we can give the next generation of Canadians on World Youth Skills Day.”
-Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO, Canada Learning Code

“As digital technology advances, the next generation of Canadians will need to be more adaptive, creative and collaborative, adding and refining their skills to keep pace with a world of work that is undergoing profound change. That’s what RBC Future Launch is all about, and through our partnership with Canada Learning Code, we hope to enable young people to build and articulate their skills in this area.”
-Noah Aiken-Klar, Director, Youth Social Impact, RBC

This World Youth Skills Day event also coincides with the launch of Canada Learning Code’s Teen Ambassador Program. The new program supports and empowers teens to grow technology in their communities. As a Teen Ambassador, teens will be connected with other like-minded teens and industry experts, develop life skills and build up their resumes while influencing technology in their communities.


Speed Networking for Teens 

Venue: Hubba, 129 Spadina Ave suite 700, | Register Here
Time: 4:30-6:00pm

An opportunity for youth to learn from today’s leaders about the career inspirations and challenges that led to their success. What do their roles look like in the tech industry? What led them to working in their field? What do they love about their jobs? Youth attendees will get 10-15 minutes with each mentor to ask them anything about how they built their careers and working in tech.


Panel Discussion: Future-proofing youth: Career hacks for tomorrow 

Venue: Hubba, 129 Spadina Ave suite 700 | Register Here
Time: 6:30-7:30pm

Technology is exciting and it’s constantly changing the workplace. And, we’re here to embrace it. While we make great strides in the advancement of technology, powerful new tools are rapidly transforming the way we work. The future labor market will look drastically different than what it is today with 42% of Canadian jobs at risk of being impacted by automation over the next two decades. So, what does this mean for our youth today? How do we prepare our youth – and ourselves – for the future? 

Panelists will explore the technological trends that are reshaping the future of work, and the challenges and opportunities for youth. The panel will be moderated by Emily Walsh, Principal of Georgian Partners and feature: 

  • Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO, Canada Learning Code, Future Skills Panel
  • Noah Aiken-Klar, Director, Youth Social Impact at RBC
  • Ariba Siddiqi, Teen Ambassador for CLC & Chief Technology Officer for Advocates of Tomorrow


About Canada Learning Code 

Canada Learning Code is Canada’s leading national charity championing digital literacy education. Placing a special emphasis on women, girls, people with disabilities, Indigenous youth and newcomers, Canada Learning Code is proud to work from coast to coast to make sure that all Canadians have access to the knowledge they need to prosper in our digital world.

Originally founded as Ladies Learning Code in 2011, the organization has evolved to run programming for adults, youth and educators through programs Ladies, Girls, Kids, Teens and Teachers Learning Code. Today, Canada Learning Code operates in over 35 communities across the country, driving results through program design and delivery, strategic industry and public partnerships, research and advocacy. To date, the organization has reached over 250,000 learners through an in-person experience. 

Twitter: @learningcode  Instagram: @learningcode Facebook: @canadalearningcode


About RBC Future Launch (

As suggested in RBC’s report “Humans Wanted: How Canadian Youth can Thrive in the Age of Disruption”,  youth are reacting to the constant change that technology has brought about, and embracing the fact that they must be “lifelong learners” to thrive. As a result, they are responsible self-starters, productivity-oriented and have shown interest in developing the skills necessary to pursue opportunities in an evolving world of work. Youth are not simply reacting to the changing nature of work, they are active agents in defining it.

Canada’s prosperity is directly linked to our ability to prepare the next generation to succeed in a fast-changing global economy. If young people succeed, we all succeed.

We don’t just want to help, we have a responsibility to help. We have a plan. And it’s working.

RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to help empower Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. Since 2017, 1 in 5 young Canadians have been reached through an RBC Future Launch-supported program.


Canada Learning Code Media Contact:
Jamie Ellerton, Conaptus PR, 416.639.6090