EP: 7 – The Skills That Canadian Students Are Learning to Make Them Life-Ready with Phil Jarvis


“It's essential to get students ready for life, not just at a school, 
district or province level, but at a country level.”
Pam Baker (00:50-00:58)


According to statistics, 70% of mistakes in organizations can be chalked up to communication issues. Hard skills might get you hired, but lousy soft skills are going to get you fired. In this week's episode, Pam Baker and Cindy Hunt, together with their special guest, Phil Jarvis, talk about the skills that Canadian students are learning to make them life-ready.


Part One of ‘The Skills That Canadian Students
are Learning to Make Them Life-Ready with Phil Jarvis’


Phil Jarvis is mobilizing collaboration across borders to graduate young people who are "life-ready". He is the President of the Transitions Canada Coalition. Transitions Canada is a not-for-profit national coalition of education, business, government, and civic leaders committed to identifying, enhancing and scaling best practices across Canada.

They are actively addressing gaps to prepare students for success beyond high school. This includes postsecondary education and contemporary jobs and career paths. Coalition partners believe a dramatic shift is required to personalized, project-based, collaborative learning linked to issues about which students care deeply.

His accomplishments include: building national and international networks of champions and partners, aligning diverse teams of territorial and federal experts, leading national and global initiatives used by millions of students, and providing technical assistance to World Bank projects.

He is trusted for his knowledge, experience, integrity, and commitment to excellence. His goal is to ensure young people know their strengths and purpose, develop an entrepreneurial mindset, and acquire the competencies they need to transitions from school to success in career and life.


“Part of the problem is we're not engaging kids’ imaginations 
because we're not connecting the learning to them.”
- Phil Jarvis (04:36-04:42)


Education shouldn't just be about teaching young people how to get specific assignments done or pass the test. Or only focused on graduating high school to get to college. But it's so much more than that. Transformative initiatives and ideas are required to truly make a difference in the educational system.

Every person has different ways to get inspired and motivated. That means leaders in the education industry must find out what young people care about to truly connect the learning to them. It could be things like climate change, plastics in the ocean, lost pets, the homeless, or injustice. You have to figure out what captures their imagination.


Part Two of ‘The Skills That Canadian Students
are Learning to Make Them Life-Ready with Phil Jarvis’


Transformation starts when kids get help discovering themselves. There are many ways to make the kids' learning journey more engaging. Not just merely staring at the blackboard. The learning system needs to be much more hands-on and real-world connected.

Get to know the issues around them that they care about. Textbooks serve as our guide, but if there's a way to make the learning more fun, then go for it.


“It's important to know how to bring the curriculum to life 
through real-world connection with real-world issues.”
- Phil Jarvis (14:51-15:02)


Good communication, mutual respect, and integrity are the key issues that help people become successful in companies. As long as they're doing something that they love doing. In marriages and community relationships, those are the human factors that have been left out of the curriculum. Find out what are the community issues and how you can start to change the world right now.

How can you connect with people that are out there doing what you're passionate about? Those are the same people whom you can get pointers from and hear their success stories. Through real-world connections, you can get human labor market information and life information that you'll never get from a computer system. It’s called an occupational monograph.

How is this related to young people?

It's essential to find out what issues they worry about and want to act on. What projects could they get involved with right now in their family, in their community, and their world?

 Once you find out what they care about, get them engaged with other students, their community, and community-based organizations. Through our education, communication is absolutely key. Focus on something that they're passionate about, rather than just trying to memorize a poem. Not that poetry isn't great, but unless you're passionate about it, you may just be going through the motions. Kids need teachers who can bring their best to what they do. Who can get back to the reasons they work in education.



How to Get Involved:

Today's workplace is filled with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skills. This can catapult creative problem solving but result in communication challenges and conflict that derail a company's fast-paced progress.

Adaptive communication enables people to understand one another and quickly resolve conflict—regardless of background, demographics, age, or educational level. Employees gain the tools to lead innovation, generate support for ideas, and reduce communication breakdowns.

Want to increase your organization's productivity, increase collaboration, and communicate so your message is heard? Let's book a time to talk. 

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