Canadian Manufacturing

Future Skills Centre announces $37M investment for solutions to Canada’s labour market

30 projects to fill employers' skills gaps and help workers gain in-demand skills in post-pandemic period.

June 8, 2020  by CM Staff

TORONTO – 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.

FSC’s focus on solutions to labour market changes address the economic and social fallout from COVID-19. The pandemic, as well as advancements in technology, have 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,” said FSC Executive Director Pedro Barata in a statement. “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.”

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.

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The projects’ four major themes identify, assess, and share innovative approaches to training and upskilling workers.

  1. An economic recovery powered by people leveraging AI and technological advancement.
    Project example: Michener Institute of Education at University Health Network and The Vector Institute’s “Accelerating the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in health care” will focus on shifting the mindset and educating healthcare professionals in the effective, appropriate, safe, and compassionate use of AI.
  2. Training, reskilling, and adapting within industries facing chronic skills shortages.
    Project example: Food Processing Skills Canada’s “Futureproofing the Food and Beverage Processing Workforce” is the first systematic testing of a framework to help the food and beverage processing industry and its workers adapt to change.
  3. Innovative and radical approaches to training and learning to build capacity and resilience.
    Project example: Bow Valley College’s “Bridging the Gap: A Learning Platform and Marketplace for Jobseekers and Employers” will create a scalable system that assesses employer-defined competencies (using AI based work-related tasks), links workers to training resources, and issues micro-credentials to job seekers.
  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. focused on employment opportunities for Indigenous people.

An overview of the 30 funded projects is available here.