This database has been compiled to provide 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.

The database integrates existing bibliographies focused on future skills and the future of work as well as the results of new ProQuest and Google Scholar searches. The process of building the database also involved consultations with experts and the identification of key research organizations publishing in this area, as well as searches of those organizations’ websites. For a more detailed explanation of how the database was assembled, please read the Future Skills Reference Database Technical Note.

The current database, assembled by future skills researchers at the Diversity Institute, is not exhaustive but represents a first step in building a more comprehensive database. It will be regularly updated and expanded as new material is published and identified. In that vein, we encourage those with suggestions for improvements to this database to connect with us directly at

From this database, we also selected 39 key publications and created an Annotated Bibliography. It is designed to serve as a useful tool for researchers, especially Canadian researchers, who may need some initial guidance in terms of the key references in this area.

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White Paper

Skills for a greener future: A global view based on 32 country studiesexternal link icon

2019: Strietska-I.O. and Mahmud, T.
Expanding on the ILO’s exploration of the likely job impacts by 2030 of keeping the rise in global temperature below the 2°C ceiling set by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, this is the first global study to analyse the implications of the transition to low-carbon and resource-efficient economies for skills, gender and occupations (Based on 32 country studies). The main objectives of this global qualitative and quantitative analysis are to identify: the scale of the need for reskilling and upskilling to realize the employment potential of the transition to environmental sustainability (the “green transition”); changes in occupations, skills gaps and skills shortages in meeting the skills demand of the green transition; progress made since 2011 in the countries surveyed then in coordinating skills and environmental policy matters across ministries and between public and private sectors; the specific needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in adjusting to change, and effective skills policy measures to increase productivity and support a just transition.
Strietska-I.O. and Mahmud, T. (2019). Skills for a greener future: A global view based on 32 country studies. Geneva, Switzerland: . Retrieved from
Journal Article

Les facteurs structurels favorisant l'appropriation d'un ERP : le cas de SAP dans une industrie pétrochimiqueexternal link icon

2014: Ait-Taleb, N.
The purpose of this article is to propose a research design on the issue of identification of the factors that impede the appropriation of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Our work is based on the current structurationist (Orlikowski) which refers to the work of Giddens, which aims to understand the interaction relationship between the actor and technology in an organizational framework. From a mixed methodology, it is to invest the difficulties faced by users in their tool appropriation process ERP implanted for several years in a petrochemical industry. We offer to pose as an obstacle to this process of appropriation interdependence between structural factors such as prior knowledge, representations, communication, training, user documents, user assistance, organizational context. In order to address the shortcomings related to the use of ERP, we consider it necessary that managers in Information Systems (IS) take into account the interdependence between the factors of influence to succeed corrective actions and improve ownership of ERP by users. [googletranslate_en]
Ait-Taleb, N. (2014). Les facteurs structurels favorisant l'appropriation d'un ERP : le cas de SAP dans une industrie pétrochimique. Revue Management & Avenir, 67(1), 192-206. Retrieved from
Journal Article

What does human capital do? A review of Goldin and Katz's the race between education and technologyexternal link icon

2012: Acemoglu, D.
Goldin and Katz's The Race between Education and Technology is a monumental achievement that supplies a unified framework for interpreting how the demand and supply of human capital have shaped the distribution of earnings in the U.S. labor market over the twentieth century. This essay reviews the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of this work and documents the success of Goldin and Katz's framework in accounting for numerous broad labor market trends. The essay also considers areas where the framework falls short in explaining several key labor market puzzles of recent decades and argues that these shortcomings can potentially be overcome by relaxing the implicit equivalence drawn between workers' skills and their job tasks in the conceptual framework on which Goldin and Katz build. The essay argues that allowing for a richer set of interactions between skills and technologies in accomplishing job tasks both augments and refines the predictions of Goldin and Katz's approach and suggests an even more important role for human capital in economic growth than indicated by their analysis.
Acemoglu, D. (2012). What does human capital do? A review of Goldin and Katz's the race between education and technology. Journal of Economic Literature, 50(2), 426-463. Retrieved from
White Paper

Skills for a greener future: Key findingsexternal link icon

2019: International Labour Office
The report draws on 32 national studies, whose findings also contributed to the ILO’s World Economic and Social Outlook 2018: Greening with jobs, and was produced in partnership with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), which prepared national reports in six EU Member States. The report builds on its predecessor, Skills for green jobs: A global view, published by the ILO in 2011. This new edition presents an expanded qualitative analysis, with coverage of several additional countries and regions. It is a ground-breaking piece of empirical research and modelling, providing new insights into likely occupational skill effects in declining and growing industries by 2030 based on two global quantitative scenarios. Evidence of good practices collected in the surveyed countries demonstrates how skills development can underpin the green transition.
International Labour Office (ILO). (2019). Skills for a greener future: Key findings. Geneva, Switzerland: . Retrieved from
White Paper

Opportunities in change: Responding to the future of workexternal link icon

2019: Biddle, N. and Cavanough, E.
This report provides a snapshot of today’s Australian labour market, the forces that are shaping it, and the blind-spots that need to be addressed if we are to succeed in a competitive and disruptive 21st century global economy.
Biddle, N. and Cavanough, E. (2019). Opportunities in change: Responding to the future of work. Sydney, New South Wales: . Retrieved from
White Paper

Global perspectives on international student employabilityexternal link icon

2019: Berquist, B., Hall, R., Morris-Lange, S., Shields, H., Stern, V. and Tran, L.
This paper provides an analysis of global policy settings and provider initiatives around international student employability. It includes preliminary findings of a new study on the uptake of post-study work rights in Australia, as well as case studies from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Berquist, B., Hall, R., Morris-Lange, S., Shields, H., Stern, V. and Tran, L. (2019). Global perspectives on international student employability. Melbourne, Victoria: . Retrieved from
White Paper

Indigenous employment and skills strategies in Australiaexternal link icon

2019: Barr, J. and Ricker, L.
Innovative ways of working with Indigenous Australians are needed to improve their employment prospects, especially as many work in jobs that are most likely to be impacted by digitalisation and automation in the future. This report considers both quantitative and qualitative data regarding employment, skills, and entrepreneurship opportunities for Indigenous Australians. A number of case studies were undertaken with employment and training providers in the cities of Sydney and Perth to gain insights into the delivery of employment and skills programmes targeted to Indigenous Australians. The report highlights critical success factors to better link Indigenous Australians to high quality jobs while also providing recommendations regarding future employment and skills programming.
Barr, J. and Ricker, L. (2019). Indigenous employment and skills strategies in Australia. OECD reviews on local job creation. Paris, France: . Retrieved from
White Paper

Work integrated learning in universities: Final reportexternal link icon

2019: Universities Australia.
For Australia to compete in the global economy, our university graduates need to be career-ready. This means they need to be flexible, adaptive and able to apply their technical skills to real-world situations. To support the acquisition of these skills, universities offer a broad range of opportunities for students to engage with the workforce while they undertake their degree. Work integrated learning – or WIL – is an umbrella term that refers to a range of practical experiences designed to give students valuable exposure to work-related activities relevant to their course of study. To produce the highly skilled workforce that the community and industry needs, universities and employers partner to offer students internships, projects, simulations, fieldwork and other activities. Over the past few years, universities have increased support to employers so they can involve students in their organisation. Employers are also increasing and strengthening their links with universities through work placements and project work, which demonstrates that they are recognising the many benefits of WIL. One of the ways that partnerships between universities and employers have been strengthened is through the development of the 2015 National Strategy on Work Integrated Learning in University Education. Universities Australia, the Australian Collaborative Education Network, AiGroup, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Business Council of Australia, the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training and the Office of the Chief Scientist partnered on this Strategy to facilitate deeper connections between universities and employers and to promote the benefits of WIL for all stakeholders. One of the strategy’s actions is to develop a national profile of current WIL activity in the higher education sector, measuring the level of participation in WIL by students enrolled in Australia’s universities. In 2018, Universities Australia (UA) undertook a national survey of the WIL activities that occurred in 2017 across Australia’s 39 comprehensive universities. The survey is the first data collection of its kind, and the survey results provide the higher education sector with a baseline from which to measure progress. The results clearly demonstrate the extent and diversity of WIL activities across the higher education sector and reflect the commitment of universities to improving graduate employability. The survey results have also provided a nuanced understanding of the experiences of particular student cohorts in accessing and undertaking WIL, such as international students, Indigenous students, and students from low socio-economic backgrounds. This understanding is critical to improving the breadth and depth of WIL opportunities so that all students – regardless of their culture, ethnicity or background – can benefit
Universities Australia. (2019). Work integrated learning in universities: Final report. Canberra, NSW: . Retrieved from

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The Future Skills Centre is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success and meeting the emerging talent needs of employers. As a pan-Canadian community, we bring together experts and organizations across sectors to rigorously identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to develop the skills and work environments to drive prosperity and inclusion.