Canadian Manufacturing

8 trends shaping the future of work in a post-COVID Canada

New report explores the social, political, economic, environmental and technological trends driving Canada's labour market in the decade ahead

February 11, 2021  by CM Staff

Illustration by: Salini Perera (CNW Group/Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship)

TORONTO — Shifting global power dynamics, the “shecession,” and the rapid adoption of remote work: Canada’s economy is reeling from a host of changes that have been accelerated, disrupted, or created by COVID-19. Yesterday’s Gone: Exploring possible futures of Canada’s labour market in a post-COVID world, a new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University, sets out to understand the changes ahead so that we can better prepare workers and employers for the future of Canada’s labour market.

Using strategic foresight research and interactive expert workshops, Yesterday’s Gone identifies and explores eight megatrends with the potential to impact employment in Canada by 2030. They include: Our Lives Online; Capitalism in Question; Technology to the Rescue; Climate in Crisis; Reconciliation and Inclusion; Finding Meaning and Well-being; Shifting Power and Evolving Population. In exploring these changes, businesses, governments, and policymakers will be better equipped to design skills-demand programs and policy responses.

Key findings from the report:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated pre-existing trends such as automation and digitization while forcing society to rethink many of our assumptions about how we work and learn, and our socioeconomic structures and systems.
  • COVID-19 has given rise to new trends, including a heightened prioritization of meaning and well-being in our work and lives. While some changes may be temporary, they could have longer term implications for the labour market.
  • Topics that may seem unrelated to Canada’s labour market, such as floods, air pollution, and responsible AI, all have the potential to impact the future of work.

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