Canadian Government’s Future Skills Council to address workforce gaps and trends

During an announcement last week at Ryerson University, Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu and Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the long-awaited announcement that Ryerson University will be the home of the new Future Skills Centre that will be supported by the 15-person Future Skills Council.

As part of the government’s Future Skills Initiative, the The Future Skills Centre will be an independently-run collaboration with Ryerson University, the Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint ADE, and will run “at arm’s length from the Government of Canada” to adapt to new skills needed by the Canadian workforce and to “develop, test and measure new approaches to skills assessment and development.”

The Skills Centre, which will help Canadians get the skills they need and make better, more informed decisions in an evolving Canadian workforce, will receive $225 million over the next four years and $75 million each following year.”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,” Hajdu said.

Also announced at the Ryerson event was the establishment of the Future Skills Council, a 15-member council that will advice the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on national and regional skills development and training priorities. It’s mandate is to identify technologies and emerging trends that are creating new opportunities for Canadians.

Made up of members from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, the council is also gender-balanced and “has social and geographic diversity including First Nations, Métis, Inuit and youth. It also has fair representation of both official languages,” according to a release.

Some notable members of the Future Skills Council include Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO and Co-Founder of Canada Learning Code; David Ticoll, Chair, National Stakeholder Advisory Panel, Labour Market Information Council; Val Walker, head of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable and Rachel Wernick, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Skills and Employment Branch, at Employment and Social Development Canada.

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Derek Malcolm
Derek Malcolm
Derek Malcolm is a writer, editor and content specialist based in Toronto. He has been covering the world of consumer technology for more than 18 years, and is the former Editor-in-Chief of Follow him on Instagram @derekgmalcolm or Twitter @derekmalcolm

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