Federal budget lays down new crucial investments for recovery, continues to build on skills investments as central to inclusive economic roadmap
April 8, 2022 – The Future Skills Centre (FSC) recognizes the significance of yesterday’s federal budget, which identified many crucial investments to support the nation’s pandemic recovery around affordable housing, child care, health benefits, and workforce initiatives.
FSC particularly welcomes the timely $794 million investment to build an inclusive workforce – with commitments to Indigenous peoples, immigration, and Black entrepreneurship, and $185 million to transition to a sustainable economy and green future. The budget delivers on opportunities to strengthen labour market mobility and training while driving innovation to ensure prosperity for all Canadians.
“The investment in further skills development in this budget will help ensure we have all hands on deck in Canada’s economic recovery,” says Pedro Barata, executive director of the Future Skills Centre. “We know from experience that investments in income and social benefits tailored to the needs of underserved and disadvantaged groups make all the difference in bolstering skills interventions that in turn strengthen labour force supply.”
A Green Future
The announcement of $185 million in this budget toward sustainability is a positive step in supporting combined initiatives to foster a “clean economy”. The transition to a net zero economy is expected to create global employment opportunities, but these shifts will be both disruptive and offer new opportunities to some sectors and regions. We must implement training and retraining programs to develop the necessary talent to tackle the climate crisis, and to prepare proactive strategies for workers in all sectors affected. Creating and implementing programs such as FSC’s projects that support sustainable fisheries and low-carbon construction to develop the talent we need to tackle the climate crisis remains vital.
Responsive Career Pathways
The investment of $2.6 billion in combined spending on skills development, job training, sector-based initiatives and credential recognition is also crucial, and is in line with FSC’s strategic focus on the learning and employment journey of individuals over their lifetime and the career guidance they receive for a changing job market. Projects that aim to break long-term cycles of dependence on social assistance by providing people distant from the labour market with cornerstone skills are an innovative approach that enables people to enter and remain in the workforce. Testing approaches that drive system change and support growing segments of the labour force that are undergoing career transitions is key to give Canadians high-quality, relevant career services and training.
The combined investment of $794 million for an inclusive economy is much needed, particularly around progress towards Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and with the new Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative. These investments are directly in line with our approach to skills development as we prioritize, engage and support underserved groups. Boosting the economies of local Indigenous communities with new skills and supporting Black entrepreneurs will help ensure that these populations gain the support they need to achieve prosperity. At FSC, 75% of our projects support underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.
Research and Innovation
Measures to address job growth and regional economic development totaling $1.7 billion in the budget align with FSC’s priority to foster a network of innovative partners in skills development to prepare Canadians for the future of work. We support over 170 innovation projects spanning every province and territory in the country, including those with a specific regional focus such as Aspire Atlantic, which aims to help people move from unemployment or low wage jobs into skilled work with advancement opportunities.
FSC will build on the skills development work we’ve established in recent years and look forward to continued engagement with governments and partners in order to advance shared prosperity for all.
Future Skills Centre