Proof Strategies M
NU

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada Launches New Youth Initiative, Careers of the Future

NGen – Careers of the Future
Unified Marketing & Communications

Advanced manufacturing is not your old-school line of work. This industry is tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges such as climate change, life threatening diseases and food insecurity. But over 25% of Canada’s manufacturing workforce is over the age of 55 and few youth are filling the gap. There is an urgent need to secure a dynamic and self-sustaining future workforce for advanced manufacturing in Canada. Proof Strategies was enlisted by Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) to educate young people on the amazing opportunities within the sector and promote advanced manufacturing as an attractive career choice.  

Where did we start? 

Leading with an audience-first approach, we wanted to understand who (exactly) we were speaking to, which barriers they were trying to overcome and how our program could support their goals. We conducted a series of surveys with students and their parents to assess their current career desires, their understanding of advanced manufacturing and their attitude about a career in the sector. Our primary research allowed us to define our primary audience; high schoolers aged 15-18 starting to make decisions about career paths and secondarily, their parents and educational influencers. 

What opportunities did we identify? 

Our challenge was to improve comprehension and consideration. There was a common perception that advanced manufacturing work is repetitive, low-skilled, and potentially unsafe. On further education of the dynamic technologies utilized, youth perceived the sector as inaccessible and “not for them” because of the overt focus on STEM.  

We found our audience like solving problems and building things, and they want to use their skills to make a difference in the world. Knowing this, we saw an opportunity to challenge youth (15-18) to co-create the future they want, through a career in advanced manufacturing.  

What was the solution? 

Careers of the Future was created to appeal to youth and the adult influencers who impact career decisions. The anchor for the campaign was CareersoftheFuture.ca and was supported by a fully integrated communications plan consisting of Broadcast, OOH, Programmatic, Social, Earned Media and Stakeholder Outreach. Tapping into the incredibly popular “oddly satisfying” video trend, the team created a series of satisfying videos to earn youths’ attention and excite them to learn more. We also created a lo-fi hip-hop channel on YouTube, to act as a study aide, while they studied for a career in advanced manufacturing. To get students to imagine themselves in a career, we launched a contest, Manufacturing of the Future, to facilitate the educational journey towards a career in advanced manufacturing. 10 bursaries, valued at $10,000CAD each were awarded to high school students across the country. 

How did we do? 

Our creative not only succeeded in driving the necessary change in awareness, perception and consideration; it also appealed proportionately to males and females across Canada — a true feat given the sector’s historical perception that it is predominantly a male industry.  We measured a ten-point increase among youth in perceiving the sector as “interesting” and “accessible”; and a 20-point increase in teens agreeing they could see themselves working in this sector. 

Partners: 

Art & Science: Website Development
cairns oneil: Paid Media Planning & Trafficking
Makers: Creative Production