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Future Skills Centre aims to prepare Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow

Ryerson University to lead the federally funded project
February 15, 2019
From left: Mohamed Lachemi sitting, Bill Morneau (centre) standing and Patty Hajdu sitting at the launch of the Future Skills Centre

From left: President Mohamed Lachemi, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Patty Hajdu at the Rogers Communication Centre for the announcement of the Future Skills Centre partners. Photo: Clifton Li.

New technology, artificial intelligence, and global competitiveness are changing the way Canadians work. Many of the skills needed for good quality jobs will change in the years to come. A Canadian workforce that incorporates new technology and adapts is key to Canada’s long-term economic growth.

On February 14, Patty Hajdu, minister of employment, workforce development and labour, and Bill Morneau, minister of finance, came to campus to announce that Ryerson University will lead the consortium for The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences, external link, an initiative to help ensure Canadians develop the skills they need to succeed in the new economy.

Ryerson will be joined in the new Future Skills Centre research initiative by the Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint to spearhead projects across Canada that develop, test and measure new approaches to skills assessment and development.

“As Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education, Ryerson University is proud to lead the consortium for this important federal government initiative,” said Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi at the official announcement on campus. “With expertise in multidisciplinary, large-scale research and evaluation projects, Ryerson is a community builder that convenes academics, governments, non-profits, and industry to better understand and promote diversity, entrepreneurship, and employment. Ryerson is well-positioned to help prepare all Canadians for emerging opportunities today and beyond."

Fifteen members from Canada’s public, private, labour and not-for-profit sectors were selected to form the Future Skills Council. The council will provide advice to the minister of employment, workforce development and labour on emerging skills and workforce trends including national and regional priorities related to skills development for Canadians.

“The world of work is changing and Canadians need to be equipped to seize the opportunities this presents,” said Hajdu. “Future Skills is part of the government’s plan to build an agile workforce that can find and keep good, well-paying jobs, and strengthen the middle class so that everyone has a fair chance at success – today and tomorrow.”

“Canada’s economy is growing and jobs are being created by Canadians every day, but the skills needed to succeed in those jobs can sometimes change rapidly. The Future Skills Centre and Council will work with schools, businesses and government to make sure Canadians can learn those skills, helping them stay competitive in tomorrow’s job market,” said Morneau.

Future Skills Centre

The Government of Canada is investing $225 million in Future Skills over four years, and $75 million per year thereafter. The research centre will operate in both official languages, at arm’s length from the Government of Canada.

The centre will partner with and fund projects that are led by groups such as provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous governments and organizations, and not-for-profit organizations.

These projects will:

  • Help Canadians make informed training decisions by identifying emerging in-demand skills now and in years to come;
  • Help Canadians gain the skills they need to adapt and succeed in the workforce by developing, testing, and evaluating innovative approaches; and
  • Share results and best practices across all sectors and with Canadians to support investment in the skills needed to be resilient in the face of change now and into the future.

The centre will allocate 50 per cent of its funding to disadvantaged and under-represented groups, including up to 20 per cent to address the needs of youth.

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