The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) will test and rigorously measure innovative approaches to identify emerging in-demand skills, and help Canadians develop the skills they need to take full advantage of and succeed in the new economy. Funded by the federal government, the Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking research centre with a focus on how best to prepare Canadians today for workforce opportunities of the future.
FSC-CCF is a partnership of Ryerson University, The Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint. The consortium offers deep knowledge of economic and technology trends, public policy, rigorous applied research and evaluation expertise, extensive knowledge mobilization and convening experience, and longstanding commitments to skills training and development.
The FSC-CCF will forge a network of partners 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.
The Centre’s work will focus on innovative solutions to best address the needs of those who are not currently participating fully in Canada’s prosperity—the under- and unemployed, women, youth, Indigenous people, newcomers, racialized people, 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
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.
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 the Centre to engage and connect with Canadians in their own communities, including provincial-territorial governments, employers, training and service providers, job seekers, and community groups.
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.
Leading cutting-edge RESEARCH
Future Skills Centre will build 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, and promoting opportunities to test and implement promising approaches.
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.
Blueprint is leading the design and implementation of an overarching strategy for the evaluation of the projects, leveraging its expertise in a wide range of evaluation designs and methodological approaches. Each project evaluation 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.
Sharing and mobilizing KNOWLEDGE
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.
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.
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.
If you are interested in joining the Future Skills Centre team, please visit our Careers page which will be updated with job postings as they become available.
Future Skills Centre Management Team
Interim Advisory Board Members
Vice-President, South-west Centre, Collège Boréal
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Conference Board of Canada
Professor, Entrepreneurship and Strategy,
Future Skills Centre
Vice-President, Research and Innovation,
Royal Bank of Canada
CEO, Ladies Learning Code & Canada Learning Code
Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
The Future Skills Centre will be hiring new talent. Please check back often for updated job postings.
For more information about the Future Skills Centre and the consortium partners, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
563 Dundas Street East, Suite 201