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Turn and face the strange: Changes impacting the future of employment in Canada

“Sets out to illuminate the diverse and intersecting trends driving change in Canada’s labour market. These trends have the potential to influence future skills demand in either positive or negative ways—and sometimes both. This report is not a prediction of the future or a deep analysis of any one trend, but instead reveals a complex picture. It aims to spark exploratory and imaginative thinking, and push readers to ask themselves “what if?” What if Canada sees a rise in wildfires, floods and mudslides? What if cases of mental health issues associated with technology use continue to multiply? What if AI becomes capable of performing creative tasks? This report explores 31 broad trends such as these, while imagining the possible implications for Canada and its labour market in the year 2030 and beyond.
The goal of this report is to challenge leaders from all sectors—including policymakers, educators and employers—to cast their net wide when considering multiple trends, from the weaker signals of change to those that are in the limelight. This also includes contemplating the potential for different trends to interact in ways that are not always so obvious.
This work builds on earlier research by our project partner, Nesta, which outlined seven mega trends impacting the future of work, including: technological change, globalization, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanization, increasing inequality, political uncertainty
Turn and Face the Strange extends this framework of mega trends to explore the dynamics of 31 related trends, some of which are mature, while others are emerging or speculative. This report is the first of several that will be shared as part of Employment in 2030, along with open data, interactive infographics and blogs. It is meant to inform a conversation about the range of changes at play, and to provide a starting point for our expert workshops taking place across Canada throughout the spring. During the workshops, experts with a broad understanding of the Canadian labour market will be asked to forecast how demand for specific occupations is likely to change, based on their understanding of how various trends – including those highlighted in this report – might impact future skill demand. Learn more about the Employment in 2030 project in its entirety.”