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Future Skills Centre announces $37 million investment for innovative and responsive solutions to Canada’s evolving labour market

30 projects to fill employers’ skills gaps and help workers gain in-demand skills in post-pandemic period.

TORONTO (June 8, 2020) — Today Future Skills Centre (FSC) is greenlighting 30 projects as part of a $37-million investment to provide essential solutions to support Canadians transitioning to new jobs or industries. These innovative, community-based programs address crucial needs by helping employers find workers with the skills they need and diverse Canadians acquire those in-demand skills.

FSC’s focus on agile, innovative, and responsive solutions to labour market changes are urgently needed to address the devastating economic and social fallout from COVID-19. This global pandemic, as well as rapid advancements in technology, have dramatically affected the jobs and workplaces of millions of Canadians.

The current crisis is creating a great deal of uncertainty for Canadian households and sectors. An economic recovery that works for all Canadians will require that we start to build a skills development ecosystem that is more responsive to the changing realities of workers and employers. These partnerships will help us map out lasting solutions that will help Canadians across the country recover now and thrive in the years to come.
Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre
Canadian workers and employers are facing unprecedented labour market disruptions heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these new projects, we can gain new insight on how workers transition to new jobs or industries and discover employer-led solutions to address the skills gap. These findings will help Canadians now and in the future by providing the tools needed to re-establish a stable workforce and support economic recovery.
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

These 30 projects are the result of consultations with stakeholders across Canada’s skills ecosystem and the review of hundreds of submissions to a call for proposals last year. They encompass all regions of the country and a variety of sectors with a strong focus on the needs of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.

The projects’ four major themes align with FSC’s mandate to identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to training and upskilling workers to build resilience and adaptability.

  1. An economic recovery powered by people leveraging AI and technological advancement. 
    Project example: Michener Institute of Education at University Health Network and The Vector Institute’s “Accelerating the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in health care” will focus on shifting the mindset and educating healthcare professionals in the effective, appropriate, safe, and compassionate use of AI.
  2. Training, reskilling, and adapting within industries facing chronic skills shortages.
    Project example: Food Processing Skills Canada’s “Futureproofing the Food and Beverage Processing Workforce” is the first systematic testing of a framework to help the food and beverage processing industry and its workers adapt to change.
  3. Innovative and radical approaches to training and learning to build capacity and resilience.
    Project example: Bow Valley College’s “Bridging the Gap: A Learning Platform and Marketplace for Jobseekers and Employers” will create a scalable system that assesses employer-defined competencies (using AI based work-related tasks), links workers to training resources, and issues micro-credentials to job seekers.
  4. Leaving no one behind in creating an inclusive workforce for the future
    Project example: Coast Salish Development Corp.’s “Indigenous Employment Hub” will help meet labour needs for future infrastructure projects in B.C. and become a model for linking focused training to meaningful employment opportunities for Indigenous people.

An overview of the 30 funded projects is available.

These 30 innovation projects will also be an integral part of a soon-to-release digital Community of Practice powered by FSC partner Magnet, a social innovation platform that can deploy tools to collect information, assess needs, and crowdsource knowledge across a range of collaborators.

About the Future Skills Centre

Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking research and collaboration hub dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success and meeting the emerging talent needs of employers. As a pan-Canadian community, FSC brings together experts and organizations across sectors to rigorously identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to develop the skills needed to drive prosperity and inclusion. FSC is directly involved in innovation through investments in pilot projects and academic research on the future of work and skills in Canada. The Future Skills Centre is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

Media Contact

Julia Rim Shepard
Director, Strategic Communications
Future Skills Centre
[email protected]
437-232-4809

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