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Applied and Experiential Skills

This project examines applied learning opportunities for post-secondary students through co-op placements, internships, applied research projects, etc. In partnership with the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, this initiative will begin by informing the path to developing 44,000 new WIL opportunities per year by 2022, and 150,000 per year by 2028.

Photo of a woman of Indian ethnicity holding a digital tablet and talking to a young construction worker while pointing at something at the construction site.

The first phase of the study will explore the potential to scale WIL positions within Canadian firms, with impact assessments carried out by industry, province, and firm. Subsequent projects will examine barriers faced by vulnerable populations to accessing WIL, opportunities to develop WIL for part-time students and adult learning in need of upskilling/reskilling, as well as barriers to employers in providing WIL opportunities.

Under this project banner, we will examine the impact of new technologies, low-carbon economies, digitization, and other emerging work trends on the skilled trades. We will also focus on which skilled trades, sectors, and regions are struggling to attract apprenticeship candidates and will examine the current state of the apprenticeship participation in Canada from the perspective of the participants, employers, training institutions, and governments. Overarching research questions will include: what new skills will be needed in different industries and how do we teach them?

There’s a revolution happening in skilled trades.