Canadian Manufacturing

Future Skills Centre announces $32M for projects to help Canadians gain future-proof skills for the workforce

Many of the projects will explore new technologies and processes for whole industry sectors that are evolving or emerging, while others are designed to reskill or upskill workers.

April 7, 2021  by CM Staff

TORONTO — On Apr. 7, Future Skills Centre (FSC) announced the funding of 64 innovation projects as part of a $32 million investment to provide practical solutions for thousands of workers and employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada and to prepare the workforce for the opportunities and jobs of the future.

Many of the projects will explore new technologies and processes for whole industry sectors that are evolving or emerging, while others are designed to reskill or upskill workers displaced by the economic damage of the pandemic. The projects strive to navigate change, imagine the future, and help all Canadians – especially those facing multiple barriers to full employment – in acquiring the skills and resilience to thrive in the workforce of today and tomorrow.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Indigenous innovations – These projects support Indigenous values, Indigenous economic development, ways of learning, and doing business. Thirty-three projects worth $17.7 million focus on providing equitable opportunity and access for Indigenous communities.
  • Untried innovations – Many projects seek to create or anticipate change by training people to work differently. Nine projects worth $7.8 million invest in new fields or mobilize emerging industries such as cellular agriculture, sustainable fisheries, and robotic manufacturing.
  • Rural and remote – Many projects aim to reach people in rural (67%), remote/isolated (35%) or Northern communities (40%). These often involve virtual training or learning through online platforms and cultivate locally-grown industries.
  • New technologies – Many projects (47%) use tech innovation, applying new technology to the delivery of training or service. Some use Augmented or Virtual Reality and novel virtual interface technologies to transform training in everything from skilled trades to social services.
  • Inclusive workforce – Almost two-thirds of projects target specific populations such as youth, women and Indigenous peoples to create a more diverse and equitable workforce. Some projects strive to connect job seekers facing multiple barriers to full participation in the workforce with pathways to training and employment.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted certain groups of people and industry sectors more than others. These shock-proofing projects, funded through the Future Skills Centre, will contribute to finding innovative skills development and training solutions to help Canadian workers develop resilience in the face of sudden economic and technological changes.” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

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