COVID-related school closures creating a ‘lost generation:’ Report

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The kids aren’t alright.

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Canadian students just won’t have the skills employers need because of education disruptions created by the pandemic, according to a report.

The paper from Express Employment Professionals — A Lost Generation: How Pandemic School Closures and Remote Learning Threaten to Widen the Skills Gap — says even before the pandemic, employers complained that Canada’s skills gap was not in a good situation.

The report says this is threatening to lead Canada’s economy into an even more dire situation.

“The disruptions to education will mean a whole generation or more is falling further behind,”  said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express Employment Professionals.

“Getting back to the pre-pandemic status quo won’t be enough, and Canadians are in general agreement that we’re witnessing the creation of a ‘lost generation.’”

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The report incorporated a survey that found 82% of Canadians are worried COVID-related school disruptions have created a generation of students who lack the skills to be successful in the workforce.

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In addition, the report found 43% of Canadians don’t think the right steps are being taken to help students recover from pandemic disruptions and 78% believe the disruptions will have long- and short-term challenges to students’ performance at school, and later, at work.

Of those surveyed, 66% expressed concern there will be trouble in the workforce as baby boomers retire and millennials take the reins.

“Intervention now is imperative to save this ‘lost generation’ and the good news is it’s not too late,” Stoller insisted. “Change will take a concerted effort by many entities, but it’s well worth the investment.”

Conducted by The Harris Poll for Express Employment Professionals, between Aug. 4-9, the online survey is not based on a probability sample, so no margin of error can be calculated.


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