Public Policy Forum
This paper contributes to the development of a post-pandemic skills agenda by clarifying broad changes and continuities in the economy and society that could have implications for skills and identifying a set of key themes on which further research is needed to better understand the challenges and opportunities which we face
Whether it's new technology or global events driving the pace of change, Canadians are being asked to adapt in the workplace. Canada needs an essential skills framework that includes and looks beyond simple literacy and numeracy. It needs to include the 'soft skills' that industry leaders say are key to success and other essential skills that will help Canadians adapt, no matter what comes their way. Each needs to be measured and tracked to ensure Canadians remain globally competitive, and this paper argues that renewing Canada’s Essentials Skills framework is the place to start.
This paper outlines places where technology can or is providing innovative approaches to skills training. This includes the assessment of skills, development of skills, and the alignment of supply and demand -- including advancing bias-free recruitment. With real-world examples from around the world, it also reviews how technology can improve access, diversity and workplace inclusivity amongst equity-seeking groups.
Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 90 percent of private-sector jobs in Canada. To be competitive in today’s market, they need the right people with the right skills, yet they are disproportionately threatened by labour shortages and skills gaps - a situation made worse by COVID-19. Unlike large corporations, SMEs possess limited resources, making it exponentially more challenging to support these human resources needs. There is a dire need for innovative research & solutions.
Action is needed to alleviate gender barriers. This report summarizes existing research and prevailing issues surrounding gender inequality, including those exacerbated by COVID-19, and points to further research that needs to be done on initiatives to reduce gender inequalities.
Gig work & gig workers are on the rise, fueled by technology that makes this form of work more easily accessible. What does this mean for Canada’s labour market and how should we respond? This report explores what we know, and what we need to know, about the nature of Canada’s gig economy and the experiences of its workers.
Indigenous businesses are growing and — importantly — creating employment for others. Further, self-employment and entrepreneurship is increasing. If there is an opportunity for the next generation, and for current adult workers, to leapfrog into the future of Canadian work, it may very well be through Indigenous-led business.
The Public Policy Forum, the Diversity Institute, and the Future Skills Centre have joined together to publish Skills Next, a series that explores what is working in workplaces, universities, and the labour market – and where workers are falling through the gaps in our skills training system. Each report focuses on one issue — such as the impact of technology in the workplace, gig work, digital skills, and barriers to employment that some marginalized groups experience -- and reviews the existing state of knowledge on this topic and identifies areas in need of additional research.