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Future Skills Centre tackles ongoing skills shortage by investing in programs helping thousands land in-demand jobs for today and tomorrow

Toronto, May 12, 2022 —The Future Skills Centre (FSC) takes on the growing skilled labour shortage and widening skills-to-jobs mismatch by announcing today a $19M investment to expand 13 projects that help retrain and upskill jobseekers. The emphasis is to meet evolving workplace demands in a number of key sectors and to include new and diverse labour market participants, particularly those who have been underserved such as women, immigrants, and Indigenous peoples. 

While economists say skills-related job vacancies are costing the country billions of dollars and leaving half a million jobs unfulfilled, innovation in skills development remains critical for thousands of workers needed in jobs in industries widely affected by skilled labour shortages and that will be key to Canada’s future economic growth.  

Postsecondary institutions, training organizations and employers in several provinces are working together to future-proof Canadian workers by offering programs leveraging insights and new technologies to provide people with market ready skills. Some key projects:

  • Construction: Expansion of first-of-its-kind digital recruitment system led by SkillPlan and Canada’s Building Trades Unions to accelerate the recruitment and training of traditionally underrepresented individuals to match the needs of the unionized construction industry across Canada.
  • Information and Communications Technologies (ICT): the University College of the North supports Indigenous women entering ICT in Northern Manitoba and will expand to other high-demand jobs in healthcare, automobile, and energy sectors.
  • Healthcare: The University of Western Ontario and Conestoga College are rapidly training frontline health workers to care for the increasing number of people living with dementia by leveraging virtual reality and an inclusive digital, multilingual learning platform.

Thirteen projects have shown early success through both program results such as strong completion rates and unearthing new learning such as the need for early engagement with employers, and social and family supports with education and job training. Above all, the programs will respond to employers’ needs for a skilled workforce by reaching increased numbers of workers, accelerating and extending the delivery of their training services, and reaching different regions. 

Explore all 13 projects here.

The Future Skills Centre is committed to accelerating innovative practices in skills development in order to help the squeeze many industries are feeling across Canada. These project partners have demonstrated a drive to test, learn and find promising approaches that will help workers, employers and industries adapt and thrive in the economy of the future.
Pedro Barata, Executive Director, Future Skills Centre


  • These 13 projects were selected through a targeted call for proposals issued in September 2021 to support partners creating positive change and impact in skills innovation.
  • FSC has helped 10,000+ Canadians receive hands-on skills training through 170+ innovation projects that provide insights or solutions to workforce challenges. 
  • Skills vacancies are said to represent $25 billion in unrealized economic value, requiring  to better match training and educational programs with the identified gaps.


The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to helping Canadians gain the skills needed to thrive in a changing labour market. FSC is funded by the government of Canada’s Future Skills Program

Learn more about FSC’s activities by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contact

Eglantine Ronfard
Communications Manager
Future Skills Centre