Preparing Canadians for the changing economy and future of work.

About the
Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead.

The Future Skills Centre is governed by a consortium of partners that offers deep knowledge of economic and technology trends, public policy, rigorous applied research and evaluation expertise, extensive knowledge mobilization and convening experience, and long-standing commitments to inclusive approaches to skills training and development.

The Centre is forging a network of stakeholders from across the country, linking thousands of service providers, employers, governments, community groups, academic and practitioner researchers, and millions of Canadians to enhance access to in-demand skills and training.

We are focused on intentional and engaging solutions to anticipate the emerging needs of employers, as well as the needs of those not currently participating fully in Canada’s changing workforce. The Future Skills Centre has a particular focus on equity-seeking groups and underserved communities, including women, youth, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, racialized peoples, LGBTQ2S+ peoples, persons with disabilities, veterans, and people from rural, remote, and northern communities.

What We Do

The Future Skills Centre focuses on four pillars:

Building a NETWORK of key partners and stakeholders

The Future Skills Centre is building an integrated, pan-Canadian network of diverse partners and stakeholders across the skills development and training ecosystem to encourage multi-sectoral collaboration, leverage expertise, share knowledge, and collaborate on shared priorities. We are committed to working with stakeholders to listen, identify, and better understand the skills challenges Canadians are facing and how best to respond.

With a deep appreciation of our country’s diverse geography and demography, the Centre is employing a regional approach, and will be establishing regional hubs supporting every province and territory. These regional offices will enable us to engage and connect with Canadians in their own communities, including provincial-territorial governments, employers, training and service providers, job-seekers, and community groups.

The Future Skills Centre is working in close collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, as well as intergovernmental organizations such as the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) and the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC), leveraging existing resources and expertise across the country.

Stakeholder Engagement Plan

An online “Community of Practice” platform will be launched in Fall 2019 to connect a pan-Canadian network of stakeholders across the skills development and training sector.

Community of Practice

Leading cutting-edge RESEARCH

The Future Skills Centre is building a new evidence base on labour market trends and the skills sought and required in the workforce now and into the future. Employing cutting-edge research, we will anticipate and rapidly respond to demands for skills, increase opportunities for diverse job-seekers, and strengthen informed training and decision-making.

The Centre’s approach to research includes comprehensive and continuous needs assessments to identify current issues, priorities, gaps, and opportunities within Canada’s skills development ecosystem. We will also build and continuously update a pan-Canadian skills development map, working in close collaboration with intergovernmental partners. A key research focus is identifying innovative policies, programs, tools, and technologies that help individuals and communities build the skills they need to adapt to changing labour market needs, as well as promoting opportunities to test and implement promising approaches.

Research Strategy

Testing and evaluating INNOVATIVE PROJECTS

Core to the Future Skills Centre’s mission is undertaking applied, action-based research through community-based projects. The majority of the Centre’s funding is devoted to testing innovative approaches to skills development. The Centre is employing a pipeline approach to develop, test, measure, replicate, and mobilize knowledge and action amongst partners across the skills development ecosystem to inform the scaling of proven practices across the country.

To date, we have committed over $19M in funding over the next two years for 16 innovation projects.

Innovation Projects Call for Proposals

Each project will be rigorously evaluated. The Future Skills Centre’s evaluation strategy will answer important questions about what works, why, and for whom—using tools and approaches that are aligned with the project goals and context. The Centre works closely with service providers and practitioners to design and implement evaluations and to ensure that results are used to drive innovation and continuous improvement.

Evaluation Strategy

Sharing and mobilizing KNOWLEDGE

The Future Skills Centre will publicly and widely disseminate information, analysis, and evidence on in-demand skills and promising solutions. The Centre will ensure that knowledge is available in the right form, at the right place, at the right time, so that our work is accessible to all Canadians—from job-seekers to employers, educational institutes and community groups, and governments and their citizens. This knowledge will inform policies and practices to help drive systems change.

The Centre is leveraging the Conference Board of Canada’s national reach, in particular with Research Impact Canada, to ensure the work has a maximum impact across all sectors and communities.

The Future Skills Centre Announces its Next Open Call for Proposals to Help Strengthen Canada’s Skills Development Ecosystem

August 14, 2019 – The Centre will test approaches for supporting Canadians through career transitions by investing $36 million in innovation projects across the country.

The Future Skills Centre Announces $7.65M to Help Prepare Mid-Career Workers for New Opportunities

July 9, 2019 – Ten new innovation projects will test and evaluate approaches to help support mid-career workers facing career transitions. Read the news release.

The Future Skills Centre Appoints Executive Director

July 3, 2019 – Pedro Barata brings a track-record of collaboration, research, and policy innovation focused on helping Canadians succeed in the new economy.

The Future Skills Centre is inviting applications and nominations for its inaugural advisory board

June 1, 2019 – In the Fall of 2019, the FSC is constituting its inaugural Advisory Board and is inviting applications/nominations from a diverse range of outstanding Canadian business, academic, and community leaders for multiple Advisory Board appointments, including FSC’s Advisory Board Chair.

The Future Skills Centre Launches Six Innovation Projects and Call for Proposals

April 2, 2019 – The Future Skills Centre is funding projects across the country that are testing innovative approaches to skills development, helping thousands of Canadians prepare for the future of work.

Government of Canada takes action to ensure Canadian workers are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow

February 14, 2019 – New Future Skills Centre and Future Skills Council will identify priorities and create new opportunities for a stronger economy.

View news archive

Our Partners

Ryerson University

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, it is home to more than 45,300 students, including 2,600 Master’s and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and nearly 198,000 alumni worldwide.

Ryerson draws upon significant expertise in running multidisciplinary and large-scale research and evaluation projects with partners across the country. With internal centres dedicated to better understanding and promoting diversity, entrepreneurship, and employment, the University also contributes invaluable experience to the Future Skills Centre by convening academics, governments, not-for-profits and industry to collaborate, create and disseminate new knowledge.

The Diversity Institute is a think and do tank, housed in Ryerson University, focused on advancing inclusive innovation and economic growth. With deep expertise in disruptive technologies, adoption strategies, and innovation processes, it has also focused on new approaches to understanding future skills and meeting employer needs by leveraging diversity and inclusion. Its pioneering work has led to significant changes in policy and practice, and its signature action research projects have developed new models to bridge the skills gap, particularly in the technology sector. The Diversity Institute has also helped develop and assess innovative technologies and tools to advance diversity and inclusion. More recently, it has spearheaded action research on entrepreneurship as a pathway to economic inclusion, and developed incubators focused on meeting the needs of specific populations, including youth facing barriers, women, and immigrants and refugees. Working with partners across sectors and around the world, the Diversity Institute leads the International Innovation and Inclusion Network (IIIN), linking more than 150 researchers, businesses, government and non-profits around the world to examine and share best practices who that will help support the work of the FSC-CCF.

Co-created by Ryerson University in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Magnet is a social innovation platform that addresses the unemployment and under-employment of Canadians. With its integration with Orbis Communications, it has a reach of over 1.1 million students, alumni and job-seekers. By leveraging Magnet’s expansive reach, its technology-enabled network and partnerships with other leading platforms—including the Canada Job Bank and EMC’s Manufacturing GPS — the FSC-CCF will provide the purpose-built digital infrastructure to grow and sustain its pan-Canadian network. Magnet will further enable the FSC-CCF by deploying tools to collect information, assess needs, crowdsource knowledge, and share priorities across a broad range of collaborators, in both official languages.


Blueprint is a non-profit, mission-driven research organization dedicated to improving the social and economic well-being of individuals, families and communities. Working with partners across Canada; Blueprint designs and evaluates strategies to address complex public policy challenges. Their approach is guided by a deep understanding of client needs, informed by high-quality, rigorous analysis and grounded in their commitment to creating solutions that are credible to a wide range of stakeholders and work in the real world. Blueprint has deep expertise in workforce development and has worked with numerous government and non-profit partners to develop and test innovative skills development strategies.

Blueprint will draw on their extensive experience in program design, evaluation, policy analysis and advanced data analytics to lead the FSC-CCF evidence generation strategy and evaluation of FSC-CCF innovation projects.

The Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is the country’s leading independent, not-for-profit, applied research organization. For more than 60 years, it has been bringing together people and ideas across disciplines and sectors to address complex issues. Through its trusted research in economic trends, public policy and organizational excellence, and its unparalleled connections, the Board empowers and inspires leaders to build a stronger future for all Canadians.

The Conference Board will leverage its applied research capacity, communications and convening expertise, and extensive pan-Canadian partnership network to lead the Future Skills Centre’s knowledge dissemination and mobilization activities. These activities will assist Canadians in making training decisions; prototype and test innovative approaches to identifying in-demand skills; and publicly and widely disseminate information and evidence on best practices and successful solutions.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Future Skills program

The FSC-CCF is looking to partner with other organizations nationwide, and will share more information about opportunities soon. Please join the mailing list.


The Future Skills Centre is led by a senior management team and governed by an Advisory Board, specialized sub-committees, and an Executive Council, including leadership from the three consortium partners and Chairs of the sub-committees.

An interim Advisory Board has been established to oversee the Centre’s inauguration. Members have been drawn from partner organizations, as well as other institutions representing the private and public sectors, academic, research and community organizations. An open search and appointment process for a permanent Advisory Board will take place over the coming months.

Future Skills Centre Management Team

Pedro Barata
Executive Director, Future Skills Centre

Interim Advisory Board Members

Lise Béland
Chair, Steering Committee, Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation
Vice-President, South-west Centre, Collège Boréal
Oren Berkovich
CEO, SingularityU Canada
Susan Black
Executive Committee Member, Future Skills Centre
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Conference Board of Canada
John Breslin
Director of Skilled Trades, Unifor
Nation Cheong
Director, Youth Initiatives, United Way Toronto
Wendy Cukier
Director, Diversity Institute
Professor, Entrepreneurship and Strategy,
Ryerson University
Lawrence Daniels
Chief Executive Officer of FireSpirit Inc.
Steven N. Liss
Acting Chair and Executive Committee Member,
Future Skills Centre
Vice-President, Research and Innovation,
Ryerson University
Valerie Lockyer
Executive Director, The Training Group,
Douglas College
Matthew McKean
Director, Future Skills, Conference Board of Canada
Paul-Emile McNab
Director, Business Development & Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses
Karen Myers
Executive Committee Member, Future Skills Centre
CEO, Blueprint
Leah Nord
Director, Skills and Immigration Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
André-Yanne Parent
Senior Director of Operations and Philanthropy for Inuit & First Nations Communities, Youth Fusion
Mark Patterson
Executive Director, Magnet
Jenny Poulos
SVP Workforce Strategy & Employee Experience,
Royal Bank of Canada
Lisa Richardson
General Manager, Enterprise Networking Sales,
Cisco Canada
Melissa Sariffodeen
Ex-Officio; Future Skills Council representative
CEO, Ladies Learning Code & Canada Learning Code
Denise Shortt
Vice President of Industry Development,
Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
Steven Tobin
Ex-Officio; LMIC representative
Executive Director, Labour Market Information Council
Jennifer Watts
CEO, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia


The Future Skills Centre will be hiring new talent. Please check back often for updated job postings.

Director, Engagement

Contact Us

For more information about the Future Skills Centre and the consortium partners, please email us at

For media inquiries, please contact Eglantine Ronfard at

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Mailing Address:

563 Dundas Street East, Suite 201
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 2B7

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