You are now in the main content area

New Research Series will Explore Critical Skills, Training and Retraining Issues Facing Canada in the Post-Pandemic World

December 10, 2020

Building on a longstanding research project conducted by Public Policy Forum, external link (PPF) and the Diversity Institute about the future of work, a new research series, Skills for the Post Pandemic World, opens in new window was launched today to tackle key questions facing policymakers, employers, training providers and workers as they collectively turn to face the post-pandemic future of skills, training and retraining.  To open the series a preliminary scoping report was released which outlines the current skills landscape of pre-existing trends and explores six critical areas that need further attention in the post-pandemic world: longstanding and uneven outcomes, technological and economic change, structural inequalities and discrimination, new working arrangements and increased uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is more of a challenge than ever before and yet we need to find ways to build flexibility and adaptability into systems, organizations and into individuals to ensure we can face whatever the future of work holds. This project will face the rapid societal shifts head-on.”

Julie Cafley, PhD, Executive Vice-President of the Public Policy Forum

“The pandemic and economic crisis have generated new challenges and opportunities in Canada’s skills ecosystem, and accelerated existing ones,” said Pedro Barata, Executive Director, Future Skills Centre. “COVID-19 has also heightened our sense of urgency to address skills training, upskilling and reskilling challenges to ensure that we are working across sectors to build a shared understanding of the skills needed, how to assess them, develop them and use them effectively. This research project will support Canada in developing a new skills strategy for a more resilient, inclusive and innovative post-pandemic future.”

“Our scoping report to launch the Skills for the Post-Pandemic World series outlines the key issues at play, the questions they raise, and sets us up for the more detailed research that will make up the next phase of the project,” said Wendy Cukier, scoping report co-author and Founder of the Diversity Institute.  “In spite of the devastation wrought by COVID-19, it has also made possible what many thought impossible - whether we think of the rate of change, the policy options that have emerged, new business models and the incredible resilience of institutions, organizations and individuals. There are opportunities to challenge some of our assumptions about innovation and skills and inclusion and how they are interconnected.  The series is designed to explore both the havoc wreaked by the pandemic but also the possibilities to rethink and rebuild better.”

This joint research project of PPF and the Diversity Institute is funded by the Future Skills Centre (FSC) with support from Microsoft and will explore the following themes:

1.     The current and future capacity of education and skills systems

2.     Rethinking essential skills development infrastructure: the role of broadband

3.     Skills for more inclusive workplaces

4.     Skills for new work arrangements

5.     Immigration policies and practices

6.     Innovative and Emergent Models

7.      Developing and supporting entrepreneurship

8.     Understanding jobs polarization and the levers needed to address it post-pandemic 

“This series will build on and contribute to the important policy dialogue around the future of skills,” said Julie Cafley, PhD, Executive Vice-President of the Public Policy Forum. “Uncertainty is more of a challenge than ever before and yet we need to find ways to build flexibility and adaptability into systems, organizations and into individuals to ensure we can face whatever the future of work holds. This project will face the rapid societal shifts head-on.”