Key Themes

The Future Skills Centre aims to build a future-focused, skills innovation hub in Canada to help prepare workers and employers for ongoing labour market changes.

We are constantly gathering and sharing research and insights about the labour markets of today and tomorrow. We are a pan-Canadian initiative, connecting ideas and innovations generated across Canada so that employees and employers can succeed. FSC is building a network and Community of Practice to share and learn, and supporting over 170 pilot projects with the hope of sourcing innovation from the ground up – touching every region, sector and population.

Many disruptions to the labour force have been occurring in recent years, and these will have profound implications for the workforce of the future. The impact of technology, shifting demographics, policy inequities that magnify income inequality, uneven access to training, climate change and global market forces, are all leading to challenges in key sectors of Canada’s economy.


increase in businesses implementing Artificial Intelligence between 2015 and 2019 (Source: Skills Next)


jobs in the "clean economy" projected by 2028 (Source: Conference Board of Canada)

2.1 mil

people employed in Canada’s agricultural and agri-food system in 2020 (Source: Agriculture Canada)


Canada’s agricultural and agri-food system plays a key role in the national economy, creating jobs as well as harvesting and producing food for our tables. However, this sector of the economy faces challenges that must be addressed.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies that use new programming and software to identify patterns, produce insights, enhance knowledge-based work, and automate routine tasks. The capabilities and applications of AI are changing rapidly.

Career guidance

With the pace of change occurring in today’s labour market, many Canadian adults will need to shift careers, retrain or upskill. Career guidance during this transition will be crucial to their success.


Cyber threats continue to menace Canadian organizations, with cyber attacks occurring daily. The use of technology accelerated in the pandemic, which has increased the threat of cyber breaches and the need to strengthen digital defences.

Digital divide

Without access to reliable internet and connectivity devices, many Canadians are unable to access employment, education and other services. This phenomenon of a “digital divide” deprives many of social and digital support.


Small and medium-sized businesses form the backbone of the Canadian economy. Although they drive economic growth, these businesses often struggle to remain competitive, as they lack the resources to upskill and train their employees.

Labour market and skills information

Accurate, practical and timely labour market information (LMI) is crucial for Canadian job seekers, as well as for employers, educators and policy makers. Access to data, tools and resources can help everyone to understand changing skills needs.


Microcredentials are rapid training programs that can help workers quickly master new skills or gain competencies. They are expected to play a major role in the future of skills training and education.

Pandemic issues

Many trends and disruptive changes were already occurring in the economy before the pandemic: the impact of technology and automation, shifting demographics, policy inequities that magnify income equality, uneven access to training, and global market forces, including climate change. COVID-19 has accelerated these trends and presented new challenges.

Quality of work

Our Quality of Work research stream explores the various dimensions of work quality and the conditions under which these occur. From salary to job security to professional growth potential, Quality of Work is an important aspect of labour markets, including for career choices and HR strategies.

Retail automation

The retail industry has faced numerous challenges in recent times. A high concentration of jobs are at risk of automation with few or no options to shift to lower-risk occupations without significant retraining.


Skills development is crucial to Canada’s future. Projects that show promise can serve as models to be scaled or adapted, ushering in a new era of economic prosperity in which all Canadians can share.

Social & emotional skills development

Social and emotional skills are increasingly important for workplace success. They refer to an individual’s ability to regulate emotions and behaviour, collaborate with others, build relationships, solve problems, and communicate effectively.


Traditional economic sectors are shifting due to climate change and a move to greener technologies. Increased attention to these issues highlights the urgency to change the way we live and work to safeguard the future of the planet.

Key Findings

Artificial intelligence will continue, disrupting work as we know it, which presents both risks and opportunities.

Source: AI learning bulletin

Effective training is leading to employment success, and agility is the new normal for people and organizations.

Source: “What works for work” learning bulletin

The more that microcredentials prove useful in solving problems and filling labour market gaps, the more likely they may someday become an established part of the educational system.

Source: Microcredentials learning bulletin