Polygon Created with Sketch. Home | Innovation Projects

Supporting Mid-Career Workers in Retail and Meat Processing

Technological and demographic pressures are threatening the future livelihoods of mid-career retail and meat processing workers.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) represents more than 45,000 cashiers and 40,000 food manufacturing workers, many of whom work in meat processing — sectors that are both facing a huge displacement of workers due to automation.

A woman packing meat.

This project will test how to equip UFCW members across Canada with the requisite skills, trade certifications, and professional standards needed to thrive in strong growth rate occupations such as chefs, cooks, bakers, retail sales supervisors, horticultural technicians, and accommodation service managers.

The Future Skills Centre will invest $495,000 over 12 months in this project, which will reach UFCW members in 600 cities and towns across Canada, in both rural and urban areas. UFCW Canada’s program will focus on the following three key activities:

  1. Providing accessible learning formats to UFCW workers focused on building digital and enhancing soft skills;
  2. Introducing a new approach to pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeships for voluntary service and industrial trades that blends on-the-job experience with digital technology; and
  3. Exploring pathways for sector migration from occupations with high-automation risks to industries and roles with projected growth.

The project will be informed by research on the perspectives of retail and meat processing workers about the automation of their sectors and their level of interest in new opportunities.

Evaluation

This project will be evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation will focus on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.

Featured Projects

College Transformation des Collèges

colleges in the Atlantic Region have partnered to advance a collaborative vision built on innovation and equity to transform the college system. Through a virtual Innovation Centre and a series of cutting-edge pilot projects that form the College Transformation des Collèges initiative, member colleges will engage with a broad range of partners to design, deliver and evaluate high-impact innovations.
Young student video conferencing his teacher through a computer

Early Childhood Education Lab

NouLAB received some funding from the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre to run a social innovation lab in Atlantic Canada. We are looking to understand what it means for educators to thrive in their career; what supports do they need to learn and apply best practices? This project is supported by the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick).
Employee taking hand-written notes while reading from a computer screen

Assessing and Developing Workplace Employability Skills with ESAT

Development of the Employability Skills Assessment Tool (ESAT), a cloud-based tool to measure an individual’s social & emotional/employability skills.