TORONTO—Today, MaRS announced that it has received $1 million in funding from Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, to create the Employment Pathway Platform.
The platform, which is expected to launch in early 2019, will help workers to chart a course through the changing job market and develop a pathway for establishing or transitioning to a new career. It will pull together data skills and training options from multiple sources and then analyze a user’s existing skills and employment preferences against them.
Users will receive a detailed skills assessment, potential job types that align with their aptitudes, a pathway for gaining the skills and experiences necessary to make the switch, and connections to training institutions with relevant services.
“As the impact of automation on jobs will differ, a uniform response to career transitions will likely come up short,” says Joe Greenwood, lead executive of data at MaRS. “The best results will come from providing a more personalized strategy that helps people to future-proof their careers. By helping workers make the transition, we aim to maximize participation in the digital economy.”
“While no one can predict exactly how work will change in the future, we know that tomorrow’s jobs are likely to require skills that are uncommon today,” says Andrew Dunckelman, economic opportunity lead at Google.org. “That’s why we’re excited to support MaRS Data Catalyst in their work to equip people, particularly those who are most disadvantaged, with a clear path to work opportunities and related skills.”
The first phase will aim to support 10,000 workers making career transitions, focusing on young people, immigrants, indigenous people and other groups who are particularly vulnerable to shifts in the labour market.
The industries that will be addressed by the platform at the outset include: manufacturing and the shift to advanced manufacturing; service industries impacted by automation, such as retail and hospitality; and financial services impacted by service and investment automation.
MaRS Data Catalyst is looking to partner with Toronto’s artificial intelligence community and startups to work collaboratively to design the technology powering the platform.
To learn more about the project and get involved, visit MaRSDD.com/pathways.