Future Skills Centre: $37 million investment for innovative & responsive solutions to Canada’s evolving labour market

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TORONTO, June 8, 2020 /CNW/ – Today Future Skills Centre (FSC) is greenlighting 30 projects as part of a $37-million investment to provide essential solutions to support Canadians transitioning to new jobs or industries. These innovative, community-based programs address crucial needs by helping employers find workers with the skills they need and diverse Canadians acquire those in-demand skills.

FSC’s focus on agile, innovative, and responsive solutions to labour market changes are urgently needed to address the devastating economic and social fallout from COVID-19. This global pandemic, as well as rapid advancements in technology, have dramatically affected the jobs and workplaces of millions of Canadians.

“The current crisis is creating a great deal of uncertainty for Canadian households and sectors. An economic recovery that works for all Canadians will require that we start to build a skills development ecosystem that is more responsive to the changing realities of workers and employers,” says FSC Executive Director Pedro Barata. “These partnerships will help us map out lasting solutions that will help Canadians across the country recover now and thrive in the years to come.”

“Canadian workers and employers are facing unprecedented labour market disruptions heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these new projects, we can gain new insight on how workers transition to new jobs or industries and discover employer-led solutions to address the skills gap. These findings will help Canadians now and in the future by providing the tools needed to re-establish a stable workforce and support economic recovery.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

These 30 projects are the result of consultations with stakeholders across Canada’s skills ecosystem and the review of hundreds of submissions to a call for proposals last year. They encompass all regions of the country and a variety of sectors with a strong focus on the needs of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.

The projects’ four major themes align with FSC’s mandate to identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to training and upskilling workers to build resilience and adaptability.

  1. An economic recovery powered by people leveraging AI and technological advancement.
  2. Training, reskilling, and adapting within industries facing chronic skills shortages.
  3. Innovative and radical approaches to training and learning to build capacity and resilience.
  4. Leaving no one behind in creating an inclusive workforce for the future
    • Project example: Coast Salish Development Corp.’s “Indigenous Employment Hub” will help meet labour needs for future infrastructure projects in B.C. and become a model for linking focused training to meaningful employment opportunities for Indigenous people.

An overview of the 30 funded projects is available here.

These 30 innovation projects will also be an integral part of a soon-to-release digital Community of Practice powered by FSC partner Magnet, a social innovation platform that can deploy tools to collect information, assess needs, and crowdsource knowledge across a range of collaborators.