Our research will help Canadians — including current and future job-seekers, employers, policy makers, service providers, educators, and researchers — better understand future skills priorities, knowledge gaps, and leading practices, and will help build capacity to address these demands. 

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Research Resources

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Reference Database

A searchable repository on published research addressing “future skills” that will be a useful tool for researchers and individuals interested in the future of work and the future of skills.

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Annotated Bibliography

Intended as a useful tool to researchers in need of initial guidance in future skills, this is a list of 39 key academic and “grey literature” publications.

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Research Network

An expanding and diverse group of scholars, experts, practitioners and other stakeholders actively engaged in research on future skills and the future of work.

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Featured Research

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Technology-Enabled Innovations in the Skills and Employment Ecosystem

This paper outlines places where technology can or is providing innovative approaches to skills training. This includes the assessment of skills, development of skills, and the alignment of supply and demand — including advancing bias-free recruitment. With real-world examples from around the world, it also reviews how technology can improve access, diversity and workplace inclusivity amongst equity-seeking groups.

Competency Frameworks and Canada’s Essential Skills

Whether it’s new technology or global events driving the pace of change, Canadians are being asked to adapt in the workplace. Canada needs an essential skills framework that includes and looks beyond simple literacy and numeracy. It needs to include the ‘soft skills’ that industry leaders say are key to success and other essential skills that will help Canadians adapt, no matter what comes their way. Each needs to be measured and tracked to ensure Canadians remain globally competitive, and this paper argues that renewing Canada’s Essentials Skills framework is the place to start.
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Measuring Social and Emotional Skills

Social and emotional skills (SES) play a critical role in the success of individuals and organizations. But, until now, there has been no comprehensive and integrated resource to identify and compare SES measurement tools. We released a new resource for users to measures social and emotional skills in adolescents and adults
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Search Research Projects

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  • Advancing Inclusion
  • Building Capacity
  • Supporting Employers
  • Supporting Workers

Social and Emotional Skills

In this multi-year project, our team of researchers is exploring the trends, challenges, and opportunities related to social and emotional skills (SES) development and the future of work.

Measuring Social and Emotional Skills

Social and emotional skills (SES) play a critical role in the success of individuals and organizations. But, until now, there has been no comprehensive and integrated resource to identify and compare SES measurement tools. We released a new resource for users to measures social and emotional skills in adolescents and adults

Return on Investment: Industry Leadership on Upskilling and Reskilling their Workforce

As technology changes the nature of work, Canadian companies must create a culture of continuous learning to ensure employees have the skills they need.

STEM for Indigenous Learners

This research project will explore what works for effectively designing, teaching, and supporting cross-cultural Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curricula for Indigenous learners in secondary and post-secondary fields of study.

Research call on the future of skills and work in a digital economy

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Future Skills Centre are launching a Knowledge Synthesis Grant competition on Skills and Work in the Digital Economy.

Leveraging the Skills of Social Sciences and Humanities Graduates

Canadians are among the best-educated people on the planet. But are they getting the education they need — particularly in the fields of social sciences and humanities — to maximize their employment prospects in today’s fast-changing workplace?

Skills Next Series

The Public Policy Forum, the Diversity Institute, and the Future Skills Centre have joined together to publish Skills Next, a series that explores what is working in workplaces, universities, and the labour market – and where workers are falling through the gaps in our skills training system. Each report focuses on one issue — such as the impact of technology in the workplace, gig work, digital skills, and barriers to employment that some marginalized groups experience — and reviews the existing state of knowledge on this topic and identifies areas in need of additional research.

Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills

Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 90 percent of private-sector jobs in Canada. To be competitive in today’s market, they need the right people with the right skills, yet they are disproportionately threatened by labour shortages and skills gaps – a situation made worse by COVID-19. Unlike large corporations, SMEs possess limited resources, making it exponentially more challenging to support these human resources needs. There is a dire need for innovative research & solutions.
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