Generation Y: The Future of Work

Angie - Test Knowles, | June-18-13


Guest Post by: Amanda Kemsley
BEAHR Training Programs, ECO Canada
Generation Y, Echo Boomers, Boomerang, Millennials, the Dot.Com generation. Whatever you like to call them, today’s youth are part of a new generation of fast-paced, ambitious and tech savvy individuals. 
Whether they are students, graduates or those interested in training opportunities, many young people are actively seeking employment, particularly Canada’s Aboriginal youth. According to the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), Canada’s Aboriginal population is the fastest-growing segment, with 1,400,685 people who self-identify as Aboriginal. Furthermore, the Aboriginal population is also significantly younger than the non-Aboriginal population. 
Now you might be thinking… so what?

Generation Y - ECO Canada

First, members of Generation Y offer numerous benefits to potential employers. Many young people in this group have the ambition, creativity, and focus on teamwork to make great employees. 
Today’s youth also have a very different motivation for work. They are not simply looking for a job – they are looking for a career. This means that these potential young employees are often highly motivated in their work, which can lead to greater staff retention and reduced turnover. For employers, this benefit is very clear. After all, who wouldn’t want employees who enjoy what they do and are committed to their company?
Secondly, Generation Y employees are often interested in gaining experience and quickly moving up the career ladder in a company. In ECO Canada’s recent study of environmental employee engagement, 48% of Millenials (or Generation Y) fit the profile of “Committed” employees, meaning that these professionals were highly engaged in their work and planning to stay with their current employer for three years or more. 
Canada’s Aboriginal youth are very much a part of this wave of talented and motivated young professionals. In 2011, the median age was 28 for Canada’s Aboriginal population, far younger than the median age of 41 for the non-Aboriginal population (National Household Survey).
Given the fact that 14% of the environmental workforce will reach retirement age in the next decade, the relatively young age of much of the Aboriginal population is a major asset for environmental employers. These professionals will be a valuable addition to the workforce as many workers begin to retire.
Thirdly, introducing diversity into the workplace is especially beneficial, as employees from different backgrounds can offer fresh perspectives, cultural insights, and unique skills. By hiring Aboriginal youth, businesses can also develop positive relationships with local Aboriginal communities. This can define new market opportunities, while keeping the workforce local and creating opportunities for community-based Training Programs for employees and local community members. 
BEAHR Training Programs is one useful tool for companies to build relationships with the communities in which they are conducting work. These training programs can help current or prospective employees develop the skills they’ll need to enter the environmental workforce at an assistant level. 
Lastly, Generation Y consists of adaptable fast-learners who are very accustomed to staying abreast of ongoing technological developments and innovation. As a result, young people are often highly creative, efficient, and capable of sharing new and improved ways of doing things – traits that contribute to an open, innovative, and effective workplace culture. 
These individuals also want to be consistently engaged and continually challenged in their jobs. This means they can usually handle what you throw at them (or look it up on the internet if all else fails). Young people today are very adaptable and can learn quickly. 
Now is the opportune time for employers to engage with Generation Y, including Aboriginal youth, in their search for the ultimate staff.
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