Beyond Blue and White Collar: A Skills-Based Approach to Canadian Job Groupings

The Conference Board of Canada, 31 pages, August 3, 2022
Issue Briefing
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Canadian employers are increasingly thinking about work from a skills perspective. This issue briefing takes a new approach to defining job groupings.

Document Highlights

Canada needs a modern, skills-based approach to talk about employment opportunities. An aspect of this is how we group jobs together. We identified eight new employment clusters in Canada based on underlying skill similarities.

  • STEM professionals have skills like programming, technology design, science, mathematics, and opertions analysis that are in high demand. The labour market outlook for this cluster is strong.
  • Knowledge workers are the most highly educated group. The outlook for this group is good.
  • The personal services cluster emphasizes negotiation, speaking, persuasion, writing, and management of financial resources at levels that are modestly above average.
  • Supervisers have a well-rounded but moderate skill set that emphasizes basic, social and emotional, and managerial skills.
  • Most technical trades require some credentialing after high school. While overall skill requirements are generally low, there is often a need for highly specialized, occupation-specific skills.
  • A high school diploma is usually all that’s needed for non-technical trades jobs, but skills like operation and control, equipment maintenance, repairing, equipment selection, and troubleshooting are needed.
  • Builders have the highest risk of being replaced by automation. Their top skills include repairing, installation, equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, and equipment selection.
  • Doers have the strongest labour market prospects among the clusters with lower levels of educational attainment.

Table of Contents

Key Findings
Introduction
STEM Professionals
Knowledge Workers
Personal Services
Supervisors
Technical Trades
Non-technical Trades
Builders
Doers
Implications
Appendix A—Methodology
Appendix B—Cluster Membership
Appendix C—Bibliography

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