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Our Research

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Labour Market Forecasting

The Conference Board of Canada's Labour Market Forecasting practice will undertake the following research projects:

This project will address our inability to measure in a consistent and reliable way where skills gaps exist today and generate forecasts describing how demand for skills is expected to change over time. In partnership with other organizations working in this field, this work will contribute to the creation the skills framework that is used in Canada. The main research questions are as follows:

  • What is an appropriate skills framework for describing the Canadian workforce?
  • What types of skills do employers currently require and what are the skills that Canadian workers currently have?

This project will address our inability to measure in a consistent and reliable way where labour gaps exist today and generate forecasts describing where gaps may occur in the future, with a specific focus on the role that technological change will have on future labour requirements. The research will determine where occupational gaps are most likely to develop over the next 20 years, identifying regions and demographics with unusually high risk. This project has two main research questions:

  • How will technology impact labour demand in Canada?
  • How will demographic factors impact the supply of labour in Canada?
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Indigenous and Northern Policy Skills Research

The Conference Board of Canada's Indigenous and Northern practice will undertake the following research projects:

An examination of the role of Indigenous post-secondary institutes in helping First Nation, Metis, and Inuit students achieve successful learning and employment outcomes. This project will examine how Indigenous institutes compare to and complement public post-secondary institutions as well as best practices leading Indigenous institutes have developed to help First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students achieve success in post-secondary fields of study and on the job market.

An examination of the role of cross-cultural STEM curricula and related supports in helping First Nation, Metis, and Inuit students successfully graduate to post-secondary STEM fields and successfully graduate from post-secondary STEM fields to relevant employment opportunities. This project will identify best practices for designing, teaching, and supporting cross-cultural Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curricula for Indigenous learners in secondary and post-secondary fields of study.\

An examination of career pathways for Indigenous professionals in finance and management. This project will examine the major push and pull factors that shape career pathways for Indigenous professionals in finance and management. It will also identify associated resources that have helped Indigenous finance and management professionals establish careers for themselves.

An examination of career pathways and resources for Indigenous workers in Canada’s North. This project will examine the major push and pull factors that create non-standard employment conditions for Indigenous labour in Canada’s North. It will also identify pathways and resources that have helped northern Indigenous workers establish careers for themselves.

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Education and Skills Research

The Conference Board of Canada's Education and Skills practice will undertake the following research projects:

This project examines the current state of social and emotional skills training and development in Canada, from K–12 through PSE and adult learning. The research will begin by clarifying and summarizing the current state of social and emotional skills development in Canadian PSE institutions. Research questions focus on variations between age ranges, disciplines, and institutions as well as the current state of assessment and measurement of learning outcomes at all levels.

Post-Secondary

This part of the project examines what post secondary programs are doing to develop the social and emotional skills in their students that employers increasingly want and need. It explores whether social and emotional skills are developed formally through classroom training, or informally through extra curriculars and looks at whether this training is mandatory. We also intend to examine whether social and emotional skills development differ between programs, with particular emphasis on the role of the social sciences and humanities in social/emotional skills development? In the process, we will look at variations by type of institution (i.e. university, polytechnic, college).

Outcomes and Impact

We intend to examine the extent to which learning outcomes for social and emotional skills development are currently being measured as well as whether there are skills assessment tools that could be used to formally evaluate social and emotional skills development. Key measures of impact for the first year of the project will include the creation of an inventory of the targeted social and emotional skills programs, and a baseline assessment of awareness levels by key stakeholder groups about how social and emotional skills are developed.

Under this banner, the CBoC will study and support ongoing work-integrated learning initiatives in Canada focusing broadly on the drive to create more experiential learning opportunities for Canadians, especially vulnerable populations, while also zeroing in on apprenticeship training (a form of applied/experiential learning) and in particular the trades that are struggling to attract apprenticeship candidates.

Work Integrated Learning (WIL)

This project examines applied learning opportunities for post-secondary students through co-op placements, internships, applied research projects, etc. In partnership with the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, this initiative will begin by informing the path to developing 44,000 new WIL opportunities per year by 2022, and 150,000 per year by 2028. The first phase of the study will explore the potential to scale WIL positions within Canadian firms, with impact assessments carried out by industry, province, and firm. Subsequent projects will examine barriers faced by vulnerable populations to accessing WIL, opportunities to develop WIL for part-time students and adult learning in need of upskilling/reskilling, as well as barriers to employers in providing WIL opportunities.

Innovations in Apprenticeship

The project will focus on which skilled trades, sectors, and regions are struggling to attract apprenticeship candidates. The research for this project will identify which skilled trades are “at risk” of negatively affecting the economy due to labour shortages, and what specifically can be done to mitigate the risk. In year one of the project we will focus on understanding the current state of the apprenticeship participation in Canada from the perspective of the participants, employers, training institutions, and governments. Overarching research questions will include: How can the partners in the apprenticeship ecosystem—employers, training institutions, and governments—increase apprenticeship training participation rate for the “at-risk” trades