The COVID-19 pandemic has both exposed and exacerbated inequalities within Canada. The changes and restrictions it has brought to our lives have affected people differently. For example, young people, people with lower incomes, those with less secure employment, recent immigrants, and racialized people have lost more hours of work than those with higher incomes. And international students have found it more difficult to obtain employment while studying, thus losing valuable Canadian work experience.
Through its Regional Sounding Tours, the Conference Board, in partnership with the Future Skills Centre, spoke with employers and education and skills stakeholders across Canada about their priorities, strategies, and regional perspectives. Participants pointed out inequities in education, social determinants of health, employment attainment, and experiences at work.
This report discusses the concerns of Regional Sounding Tour stakeholders around the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on youth, Indigenous peoples, women, and newcomers in the areas of education and employment. It also looks at guidelines and recommendations for promoting a more inclusive and equitable education and skills ecosystem.