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Employment in 2030: Action labs

What does the future hold for Canada’s labour market? What trends in technology, society, and the environment are in store for Canada’s labour market, and how will it impact the way we work? What skills will be in-demand across geographies, industries, and demographic groups?

These were the questions that the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship set out to answer over the last three years via the Employment in 2030 initiative. It combined futures research, expert workshops, and a machine-learning algorithm to generate the Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth (FCOG), a forecast of skills demand and occupational growth in 2030. The initiative produced four reports to date: Turn and Face the Strange, Signs of the Times, Ahead by a Decade and Yesterday’s Gone

Key insights

Given the diversity of Canada’s labour market and worker experiences across the country, this report puts forth regionally specific and replicable solutions designed to prepare workers who are vulnerable to labour market disruptions for the future.

Building upon these efforts to date, Action Labs explores how to translate the Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth (FCOG), and existing sources of labour market information into tangible solutions that could help job seekers and workers prepare for their future. 

The solutions-based supports were designed using the insights gained from worker groups in the regional workshops.

Executive summary

The intent of this initiative was to fill a gap in Canada’s labour market information (LMI) by providing a skills-based forecast that was responsive to changing labour market conditions across the country.

But how do we turn this information into action?

Employment in 2030 Action Labs is the bookend of the Employment in 2030 initiative. Building upon these efforts to date, Action Labs explores how to translate the FCOG (and other sources of labour market information) into tangible solutions that could help job seekers and workers prepare for their future. Based on the data, we identified five regions across Canada each with their own distinctive regional challenges and collaboration partners:

  • Yukon University (Whitehorse, Yukon);
  • RADIUS SFU (Vancouver, British Columbia);
  • Tech Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba);
  • Observatoire compétences-emplois (Montréal, Québec); and
  • NL Workforce Innovation Centre, College of the North Atlantic (Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador).

In collaboration with these partners, the project took an innovation-based approach to identify new solutions to pressing labour market challenges in the identified regions. The project was geared towards identifying new, or improving existing interventions that would help workers and job seekers develop the five skills identified (by the FCOG) that are associated with occupations projected to grow in demand over the next 10 years. Those skills included fluency of ideas, instruction, memorization, persuasion, and service orientation.

Using a justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) approach (based on partner RADIUS SFU’s framework), this project involved conducting interviews with living experts to gain a deeper understanding of their current experience. We also facilitated two virtual workshops per region to translate the challenge into possible solutions. However, in speaking with job seekers or worker groups in the five regions, which included 60 workshop participants and 18 living experts, as well as staff within the five regional partners, the existing LMI data did not reflect the real and complex challenges that workers, job seekers, and students are experiencing in finding, keeping, and preparing for employment.

Regional summary highlights:

British Columbia Regional Summary

This report provides an overview of regional insights from British Columbia. Working with our partner, RADIUS SFU, we worked on a regional challenge question focused on immigrant, refugee and newcomer women to access culturally relevant and meaningful opportunities to leverage and future-proof their skills.

Manitoba Regional Summary

This report provides an overview of regional insights from Manitoba. Working with our partner, Tech Manitoba, we worked on a regional challenge question focused on helping high school students to better prepare for the future workforce, and in particular for navigating non-linear career paths, through improved career guidance and development of foundational skills and abilities.

Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Summary

This report provides an overview of regional insights from Newfoundland and Labrador. Working with our partner, NL Workforce Innovation Centre, College of the North Atlantic, we worked on a regional challenge question focused on supporting career practitioners to support displaced, highly skilled mid- to late-career (40+ years) job seekers to explore future-oriented skills and new, alternative careers in order to facilitate career transitions.

Québec Regional Summary

This report provides an overview of regional insights from Québec. Working with our partner, Observatoire competence-emplois, we worked on a regional challenge question focused on how to support mid-career workers in less-skilled occupations in the tourism, hospitality and leisure industry to acquire new skills that will equip them for tomorrow’s labour market.

Yukon Regional Summary

This report provides an overview of regional insights from Yukon. Working with our partner, Yukon University, we worked on a regional challenge question focused on supporting youth (from age 15 to 24) to future-proof their skills and enable an easier transition to the workforce, and in particular to prepare to navigate non-traditional or undefined career paths.

Labour Market Information Insights

This report provides an overview of key insights gleaned from our research process, a set of considerations for organizations generating labour market information (LMI), along with some bold ideas about how we think LMI should be redesigned to meet the needs of workers

Read this report to help you understand how we might shift to worker-centric LMI in the future.

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