Innovation Projects

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Workplace Innovation for Quality of Work

This project worked with a small sample of Canadian workplaces to adapt research advances from Europe to improve quality of work through employee-led workplace innovation. It also identified what European policy and program issues and initiatives should be explored further to guide Canadian initiatives to scale-up employee-led workplace innovation for quality of work.


This project was carried out by Yonge Street Mission (YSM) to improve their workforce development strategy using a data tool called TIMES™ (Transformation Integrated Measurement and Evaluation System). The tool collects and analyzes data on barriers and supports that affect job readiness for their clients, such as food, housing, relationships, education, skills and health. The project aimed to migrate the tool from a narrow and rigid platform to a more robust and flexible online platform (Salesforce) that helps…which would facilitate ease of use, collaboration, reporting and onboarding of external partners.

State of Skills: Innovation in Training, Recruitment and Upskilling for Skilled Trades

Like many economies across the world, Canadians (and Canadian employers in particular) recognize that Canada needs more skilled tradespeople. Not enough Canadians, however, appear to be interested in pursuing these careers. Rates of enrollment in apprenticeships are falling short of where labour demand is. Past efforts to increase numbers of skilled tradespeople through immigration have fallen short of their targets, with low admittance through federal programs and a lack of information available for new Canadians on how to get qualified.

Built to scale: Assessing microcredentials for digital sector professionals

This project explored the uptake of microcredentials within digitally intensive industries in Canada, a field projected to grow and change in coming years. The project used a novel form of labour market information — LinkedIn profiles — to discern differences in skill, occupational seniority, and microcredential certification in the tech labour market in Canada.

Career pathways for mid-career workers through work-based learning

The Work Based Learning Consortium (WBLC) and its partners developed and delivered a training program in response to a shortage of workers with the right skills for entry- to mid-level jobs in the advanced manufacturing industry in Ontario. This project aimed to bridge those skills gaps by helping mid-career workers with little relevant work experience get hired in mold maintenance jobs and acquire industry-valued skills and certifications on the job, and by upskilling current workers in mold maintenance. 

A pay-for-performance model for skills training

This project was designed to address two key issues: employer underinvestment in training and low participation in training programs that address skill gaps in manufacturing. The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), in partnership with Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) piloted an outcomes-based “pay for performance” (PFP) model which reimbursed employers if they successfully supported delivery of EMC’s Manufacturing Essentials Certification (MEC).

Future City Builders

Future City Builders was a four-month program that supported youth to work collaboratively to develop real-world solutions for healthier and more equitable cities. By engaging in collaborative projects, participants were expected to gain knowledge and skills that made them more employable, better able to create their own employment opportunities, and use their newly developed skills throughout their career and life to contribute to sustainable cities.

The Skills Algorithm: Digital Skills Demand Across Canada’s Labour Market

This research examined the experiences and attitudes towards remote work in Canada for employees and supervisors and sought to understand how the arrangement has affected productivity, satisfaction, trust and well-being.

Inuvialuit Skills Matrix

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation was created in 1984 through the Inuvialuit Final Agreement land treaty agreement with Canada to advance the interests of Inuvialuit in the Beaufort Delta of the Northwest Territories and across Canada through the protection of land and culture, provision of services and the creation of economic opportunities. As part of these efforts, FSC has funded IRC’s project Inuvialuit Skills Matrix, an initiative which would introduce data, infrastructure and strategic planning tools to create a systemic solution to job creation, training and skills development.

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