National Regional Sounding Tour: Report-back—December 2020
The Conference Board of Canada, 2 pages
December 9, 2020
Summary for executives
This report-back reveals the most persistent skills, training, and education issues we heard from participants during the 2019–20 National Regional Sounding Tour. Issues are grouped into five major categories.
- Barriers to access—Rural and remote learners face challenges around distance, transportation, housing, Internet and/or computer access, and the availability/affordability of child care. And recognizing prior experiences of newcomers to Canada, eliminating barriers for people with disabilities, supporting mid-career workers, and addressing systemic challenges such as the urban/rural divide are all vital.
- Lifelong learning—The nature of work is changing. Skill sets have shorter shelf lives. Workers need a lifelong-learning mindset to sustain their careers and adapt.
- Experiential learning—Employers often face financial and administrative challenges to offering work-integrated learning and training, especially around the costs of taking on trainees.
- Reconciliation in education—Many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners view training and education opportunities with skepticism. This is the legacy of colonization and residential schools. Reconciliation is a needed and ongoing process.
- Foundational skills—When asked which skills are most in demand, stakeholders frequently highlighted social and emotional skills.