The Current

Public Service needs reform to attract millennials, says Scott Brison

If the new Liberal government is to implement its ambitious vision for the future, it will need a new generation of employees. And that means recruiting millennials. But there's a hitch. Millennials aren't interested in the public service workplace.
When it comes to millennials entering the workforce, how can the public service compete with workplaces such as Google and hip IT start-ups? Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board, says public service needs a revamp to attract the next Golden Age. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

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At the World Economic Forum in Davos in Jan. 2016, Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board of Canada, took part in an important discussion: how to get millennials into the public service?    

Believe it or not, it's an important question in Canada.

The average age of new hires in Canada's public service right now is 37-years-old - older than the so-called millennials, the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. And based on what we know about what "millennial" workers are looking for in a job right now, Brison may have his work cut out for him.

We have a demographic reality where more people are retiring from the public service than are joining and we have what is the most educated, informed and globally connected generation of young people who are somewhat skeptical about public service. We recognize we need to change elements of the public service.- Scott Brison on the need to attract millenials into the public service

Guests in this segment:

  • Darren Touch, a 21-year-old University of Ottawa student who worked as a paid co-op student in the Department of Public Works in 2015. 
  • Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board of Canada and the Liberal MP for Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia. 
  • Linda Duxbury, professor at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business, where she also studies career development in the public sector. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Willow Smith.

Very-young actors impersonate Canadian public servants