Skills Development in the North: An Ecosystem Shaped by Distinct Challenges

The Conference Board of Canada, 32 pages, September 9, 2021
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The Northern skills ecosystem is shaped by distinct challenges. This primer discusses how these challenges affect the ability of Northern skills ecosystems to respond to change.

Document Highlights

Canadian skills development ecosystems are made up of a wide range of organizations—such as education and training providers, policy-makers, employers, and unions—that help learners get the skills they need to adapt to changing economies.

Skills Development in the North: An Ecosystem Shaped by Distinct Challenges highlights how Northern skills ecosystems share key differences that set them apart from those in Southern Canada. Northern education and training providers face challenges with small remote secondary schools, shortages of teachers and skilled adult educators, inadequate in-service supports, few post-secondary education institutions, and poor Internet service. The skills development policy environment in Northern regions is also shaped by large Indigenous populations and distinct Indigenous governance structures.

Leaders and policy-makers must understand how the differences in the North affect the ability of Northern skills ecosystems to respond to change and how their distinct features impact the provision of skills to Indigenous workers.

Table of Contents

Building skills in Northern Canada
A model of the skills development ecosystem
Context shapes Northern skills ecosystems
Coordinating Northern skills ecosystems
Lessons to share

Appendix A: Methodology
Appendix B: Data tables
Appendix C: A sample Northern skills development ecosystem
Appendix D: Bibliography

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