od Future Skills Summit 2022

Our nation’s labour market is undergoing massive change.

It’s being shaped by effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as unprecedented demographic shifts, economic changes and technological advances. To navigate these disruptions and foster the future prosperity of Canada, we must support the lifelong skills development of our workforce.

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is honoured to host leaders and representatives from all across Canada to share what we’re collectively learning and to discuss innovative ideas to shape our future work environment.

What to expect

The Future Skills Summit gathers leading experts in skills development across Canada, including policy makers, industry leaders, community representatives and skills training practitioners.

Discussions will zero in on finding relevant data and information, discovering new skills approaches, identifying systemic change enablers, and scaling best practices.

Foster dialogue, cultivate ideas, share innovations, and drive action

Through inspiring keynote presentations, engaging discussions, ActionLab workshops, and insightful feedback, you’ll be able to:

Build on skills development approaches that are already generating positive results

Find opportunities to network and collaborate with peers, business leaders, and policymakers

Identify areas within your organization that could benefit from new ways of thinking

Access hands-on tools to help drive skills development change in your workplace or community

Discussions will focus on:

  • Major labour market trends shaping the future of the skills ecosystem
  • Skills development challenges and opportunities impacting our economy and sectors
  • Data and future-focused insights from pilot projects across Canada
  • New skills training approaches and how to replicate them across Canadian businesses and institutions
Read more

Featured speakers

All Speakers

Armughan Ahmad

Armughan
Ahmad

Gary Anandasangaree

Gary
Anandasangaree

The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine

The Honourable Dr. Jean
Augustine

Pedro Barata

Pedro
Barata

Donnalee Bell

Donnalee
Bell

Susan Black

Susan
Black

Julia Blackburn

Julia
Blackburn

Tony Bonen

Tony
Bonen

Julie Cafley

Julie
Cafley

Saul Carliner

Saul
Carliner

Katie Chappell

Katie
Chappell

Wendy Cukier

Wendy
Cukier

Luisa Da Silva

Luisa
Da Silva

Lawrence Daniels

Lawrence
Daniels

Louie Di Palma

Louie
Di Palma

Sabrina Geremia

Sabrina
Geremia

Jennefer Griffith

Jennefer
Griffith

Lasse Gustavsson

Lasse
Gustavsson

Joanna Henderson

Dr. Joanna
Henderson

Sareena Hopkins

Sareena
Hopkins

Jeanette Jackson

Jeanette
Jackson

Dr. Arif Jetha

Dr. Arif
Jetha

Sarah Kay

Sarah
Kay

Sanjay Khanna

Sanjay
Khanna

Kelly Lendsay

Kelly
Lendsay

Steven N. Liss

Steven
N. Liss

Dr. Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald

Dr. Alexander (Sandy)
MacDonald

Mike Moffatt

Mike
Moffatt

Adam Morrison

Adam
Morrison

Katharine Mullock

Katharine
Mullock

Audrey Murray

Audrey
Murray

Karen Myers

Karen
Myers

Cam Nguyen

Cam
Nguyen

Glory Ogor

Glory
Ogor

Alicia Piechowiak

Alicia
Piechowiak

Jenny Poulos

Jenny
Poulos

Carla Qualtrough

The Honourable Carla
Qualtrough

Brian Robson

Brian
Robson

Dr. Tania Saba

Dr. Tania
Saba

Nathalie Sanon

Nathalie
Sanon

Iona Santos-Fresnoza

Iona
Santos-Fresnoza

Shalini Sharma

Shalini
Sharma

Natalie Shearer

Natalie
Shearer

Lovey Sidhu

Lovey
Sidhu

Duangsuda Sopchokchai

Duangsuda
Sopchokchai

Christine Stenton

Christine
Stenton

Jeanette Sutherland

Jeanette
Sutherland

Nadia Theodore

Nadia
Theodore

Tricia Williams

Tricia
Williams

Armine Yalnizyan

Armine
Yalnizyan

Agenda

Please note: All agenda times are in Eastern Standard Time. See what time that is for you.

12:45 p.m.

The Future Skills Centre and its consortium partners are pleased to welcome you to its first national summit. Join us as we set the stage for this exciting event:

  • Hear about the key trends that are transforming Canada’s labour market and will shape the discussions over the next three days.
  • Learn more about the future-focused, innovative, and evidence-based priorities set out by the Future Skills Centre and its partners as we look to drive action in Canada’s skills ecosystem.
  • Discover ways in which you can access resources, participate in discussions, and connect with fellow leaders so that you may get the most out of your summit experience.

Co-Host:

Julie Cafley

Vice-President, Communications & External Relations, Digital Research Alliance of Canada

Speakers:

Pedro Barata

Executive Director, Future Skills Centre

Susan Black

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada

Steven Liss

Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

1:15 p.m.
Keynote

Throughout his life, Dr. Fakih has faced great adversity: from arriving in Canada at the age of 16 as a Lebanese refugee with $1,000 in his pocket; facing numerous struggles, including racism, as an immigrant trying to build a business; to being hit with a global pandemic that has disrupted the food service industry where he has built a successful company. Through it all, he has learned to adapt and innovate, ensuring both his business and community would continue to thrive. His passion, work ethic, and philanthropic commitments make him one of Canada’s most highly regarded CEOs, and he was recently named to the Order of Canada.

Dr. Fakih is a living example of the role that immigration plays in supporting Canada’s economic recovery, driving future growth, and enriching the labour market. Hear his experience first-hand and discover how together, we can break down barriers to newcomers’ success.

Moderator:

Susan Black

President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada

Speakers:

Pedro Barata

CEO and President, Paramount Fine Foods

1:45 p.m.
Break
2:00 p.m.
Plenary

Across Canada, massive disruption is transforming industries, communities, and where and how we work. All of these are having a marked impact on the type and quality of jobs that are available and the kinds of skills needed to perform them successfully. The labour market is also seeing the emergence of new types of jobs that demand a host of different skills. A new approach is needed to create career guidance and pathways for people navigating career choices through the trajectory of their working lives.

In this interactive discussion, hear about the challenges organizations are facing, the vision of what is needed, and new ideas and approaches being tested to build a responsive system that supports the changing labour force.

Our esteemed panelists will:

  • Examine the megatrends that are shaping the future of work, such as globalization, demographic changes, technology and automation, and the green economy.
  • Discuss the gaps and opportunities to further advance Canada’s career and employment services.
  • Illustrate the impact that the provision of accessible, proactive, and informed career services will have on those undergoing change in their career journey.
  • Share lessons learned and the impacts of their own initiatives, as well as actionable items moving forward.

Moderator:

Jenny Poulos

Senior Vice President, Talent Services & Operations, RBC

Panelists:

Sareena Hopkins

Executive Director, Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF)

Katharine Mullock

Labour Market Economist, OECD

Karen Myers

President and CEO, Blueprint

2:45 p.m.
Break
3:00 p.m.
ActionLabs A—(please select one)

ActionLabs are designed to highlight the best practices already making an impact in the labour market. Alongside external partners, the FSC supports innovative projects to identify in-demand skills and test new methods of training delivery.

Join us for an interactive discussion as project leads:

  • Showcase the work that is being done on the ground.
  • Engage the audience on key research questions and action items.
  • Draw out lessons learned and actionable takeaways that you can take back to your organization.

Featured Projects:

Tourism Hospitality Emergency Recovery (THER): In its first phase, THER was launched as an agile pilot project to help displaced workers in the tourism and hospitality sector navigate an uncertain future. Now it has become a national effort with a focus on supporting hospitality and tourism businesses in developing sector-based workforce recovery planning.

EDGE UP: Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project: Launched in 2019, EDGE UP and its partners have collaborated to design, implement, and evaluate a digital upskilling pilot project with the goal of transitioning displaced mid-career Calgary energy sector workers to high-growth technology opportunities.

Moderator:

Nadia Theodore

Senior Vice President, Global Government and Industry Relations

Speakers:

Adam Morrison

President & CEO—OTEC

Jeanette Sutherland

Director of EDGE UP, Workforce at Calgary Economic Development

ActionLabs are designed to highlight the best practices already making an impact in the labour market. Alongside external partners, the FSC supports innovative projects to identify in-demand skills and test new methods of training delivery.

Join us for an interactive discussion as project leads:

  • Showcase the work that is being done on the ground.
  • Engage the audience on key research questions and action items.
  • Draw out lessons learned and actionable takeaways that you can take back to your organization.

Featured Projects:

In Motion & Momentum+ (IM&M+): Building resilience, hope and sustainable futures: IM &M+ is focused on breaking long-term cycles of dependence on social assistance for service recipients getting ready to re-enter the labour market. Community-based agencies work with participants to provide support and coaching to continue to move positively towards their employment, educational, and personal development goals.

Newcomer inclusion in Quebec small-to-medium enterprises: This project investigates the manufacturing sector to identify and improve the onboarding experience of immigrant workers in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) outside of large gateway cities. These manufacturing SMEs in smaller communities are experiencing a worker shortage, even as a large pool of immigrant workers is available but underutilized.

Moderator:

Dr. Tania Saba

BMO Chair in Diversity and Governance, Université de Montréal

Speakers:

Donnalee Bell

Managing Director, Canadian Career Development Foundation

Saul Carliner

Professor, Concordia University

Alicia Piechowiak

Project Director, Groupe Engram

3:45 p.m.
Break
4:00 p.m.

Join us for an intimate conversation as we sit down with Mohamad Fakih to learn more about his work, passions, and motivations. Use this opportunity to ask your most pressing questions and tap into the brains of those who are making an impact on the future of work in their organizations, communities, and skills ecosystems in Canada.

Moderator:

Susan Black

Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada

Speakers:

Pedro Barata

CEO and President, Paramount Fine Foods

1:00 p.m.

Join us as we kick off another day filled with excitement and learning opportunities. Our summit’s chair will share her thoughts and a high-level recap of our first day and share a glimpse of what’s to come. She will be joined by Sarah Kay, an award-winning spoken-word poet with global perspective and founder of an education organization called Project V.O.I.C.E. Listen as Sarah uses her own poetry, as well as some of her personal experiences, to inspire us as we look to drive action in Canada’s skills ecosystem.

Co-Hosts:

Julie Cafley

Vice-President, Communications & External Relations, Digital Research Alliance of Canada

Julie Cafley

Spoken–Word Poet

1:15 p.m.
Panel Discussion

Automation, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies mean swift changes in demand for skills in many sectors. New technologies will bring both disruption and opportunities to our workplaces and economy. Canadians will need to be more adaptive, creative, and collaborative, adding and refining skills to keep pace with a world of work undergoing profound change.

Take part in this conversation as our panelists:

  • Discuss how automation and new technologies are impacting the labour market and specific sectors.
  • Highlight opportunities and challenges for workers and employers.
  • Examine how technology needs to be leveraged to help make training and skills more available and responsive to what individuals need.
  • Share their organizations’ journeys to responding to these disruptive trends and risks.
  • Identify ways we can leverage technology to improve the future of work.

Moderator:

Nathalie Sanon

Head of IVADO Training Program

Panelists:

Armughan Ahmad

Board member and President and Managing Partner, KPMG Digital

Sabrina Geremia

VP & Country Manager, Google Canada

Pedro Barata

President & CEO, INDIGENOUS WORKS and Founder & CEO, LUMINARY

Audrey Murray

Chair of the Commission of Labor Market Partners (CLMP) and the Metropolitan Employment Council (MEC)

2:00 p.m.
Break
2:15 p.m.
ActionLabs B—(please select one)

ActionLabs are designed to highlight the best practices already making an impact in the labour market. Alongside external partners, the FSC supports innovative projects to identify in-demand skills and test new methods of training delivery.

Join us for an interactive discussion as project leads:

  • Showcase the work that is being done on the ground.
  • Engage the audience on key research questions and action items.
  • Draw out lessons learned and actionable takeaways that you can take back to your organization.

Featured Projects

Future-proofing the Food and Beverage Processing Workforce: Working directly with employers, this project is developing the first systematic testing of a broad learning and recognition framework (FPSC LRF) for the food and beverage processing industry. The objective is to ensure that the workforce can develop and adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry as it grows, adopts new technology, and innovates in response to various labour market challenges.

ADaPT: Digital competencies: ADaPT creates new training opportunities into digital roles for non-STEM graduates, internationally-educated professionals, and high-potential workers who lack traditional credentials. By expanding the current ADaPT model across different Canadian communities, this project strives to enhance career pathways and address challenges faced by under-represented groups.

Moderator:

Lawrence Daniels

Chief Executive Officer Firespirit Inc.

Speakers:

Jennefer Griffith

Executive Director Food Processing Skills Canada Ontario

Brian Robson

Director, Training Programs & Business Development, Ryerson’s Diversity Institute

ActionLabs are designed to highlight the best practices already making an impact in the labour market. Alongside external partners, the FSC supports innovative projects to identify in-demand skills and test new methods of training delivery.

Join us for an interactive discussion as project leads:

  • Showcase the work that is being done on the ground.
  • Engage the audience on key research questions and action items.
  • Draw out lessons learned and actionable takeaways that you can take back to your organization.

Unleashing learning management systems: This project leverages technology to help curate and develop online content and tools to support training and skills development needs among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Canada to foster more inclusive workplaces.

Virtual Recruitment and Assessment for the Unionized Construction Industry: Using research, behavioural insights, and social and digital marketing, this project aims to develop a recruitment strategy to reach new audiences and support the recruitment of under-represented populations into the unionized construction industry.

Moderator:

Christine Stenton

Project Manager, Magnet

Panelists:

Louie Di Palma

Vice President, Programs, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Lovey Sidhu

Director of Workforce Development, SkillPlan

Cam Nguyen

Senior Research Associate, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC)

3:00 p.m.
Break
3:15 p.m.
Fireside Chat

Wendy Cukier of Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute will lead a fireside chat on the theme of “The Road to Inclusive Recovery.” They will discuss the challenges for equity-deserving groups as they navigate through economic recovery, rebuilding a more resilient, inclusive and stronger country for everyone and recognizing the critical role of education, skills development and training as an enabler, and strengthening different sectors and geographies of the Canadian labour market.

Moderator:

Wendy Cukier

Founder, Diversity Institute and Academic Research Lead for Future Skills Centre

Speaker:

Gary Anandasangaree

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine

P.C., C.M., O.Ont, C.B.E.

3:45 p.m.
Break
4:00 p.m.

Virtual braindates are knowledge-sharing conversations that you book with others to have one-on-one or in small groups (via video chat) on the Braindate platform. They’re the best way to brainstorm, solve challenges, share expertise or experiences, while connecting with new (brilliant!) people — all virtually. How does it work? It’s simple:

  1. Look out for our email with login information to Braindate.
  2. Explore the Topic Market — where all participants (including you!) post the knowledge they are willing to share.
  3. Pick something you want to learn or create your own topic.
  4. Book your braindates, with whom you will connect virtually during the Future Skills Summit.
12:00 p.m.
Plenary Panel

As Canada moves to meet some of the world’s most ambitious net zero targets, workers’ skills in virtually every sector will be more critical than ever. John Stackhouse, SVP, Office of the CEO, RBC, and moderator Duangsuda Sopchokchai, associate director, economic research at the Conference Board of Canada, will discuss the latest research findings from RBC on how Canadian skills, tasks and jobs will be transformed and the ways workers, businesses, skills practitioners and governments can collaborate to prepare the workforce for a net zero economy.

Host:

Pedro Barata

Executive Director, Future Skills Centre

Moderator:

Duangsuda Sopchokchai

Associate Director, Economic Research, The Conference Board of Canada

Speaker:

John Stackhouse

Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, RBC

12:45 p.m.
Break
1:00 p.m.

Join us as we kick off another day filled with excitement and learning opportunities. Our summit’s chair will reflect on the summit’s key takeaways and share details of what’s to come.

You will hear from Glory Ogor, a young worker who has taken part in work led by FSC project partners supported by the Centre. She'll share more about her skills-building journey, talk about what's keeping her at night, and give the skills development ecosystem a call to action that cannot be ignored.

Co-Host:

Julie Cafley

Vice-President, Communications & External Relations, Digital Research Alliance of Canada

Speaker:

Glory Ogor

Senior Business Systems Analyst, Scotiabank

1:15 p.m.
ActionLabs C—(please select one)

ActionLabs are designed to highlight the best practices already making an impact in the labour market. Alongside external partners, the FSC supports innovative projects to identify in-demand skills and test new methods of training delivery.

Join us for an interactive discussion as project leads:

  • Showcase the work that is being done on the ground.
  • Engage the audience on key research questions and action items.
  • Draw out lessons learned and actionable takeaways that you can take back to your organization.

Featured Projects:

FAST: Facilitating Access to Skilled Talent: Piloted as a pre-arrival program, FAST is an online, occupation-specific skills assessment and development platform that is designed to aid newcomers to Canada in overcoming barriers, such as the lack of recognition of their international work credentials and the absence of Canadian work experience.

Upskilling Canadian youth for in-demand tech careers: This initiative provides youth aged 18–29 with professional and technical skills training, direct job placement, and five years of post-hire services, including mentorship and continuing education for career advancement. In its second phase, a hybrid approach will be expanded to bring virtual skills training and remote work opportunities to Indigenous, francophone, and Northern communities.

Moderator:

Shalini Sharma

Director, Research and Policy, Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity

Speakers:

Julia Blackburn

Chief Executive Officer, NP Power Canada

Iona Santos-Fresnoza

Program Lead, Immigrant Employment Council of BC

ActionLabs are designed to highlight the best practices already making an impact in the labour market. Alongside external partners, the FSC supports innovative projects to identify in-demand skills and test new methods of training delivery.

Join us for an interactive discussion as project leads:

  • Showcase the work that is being done on the ground.
  • Engage the audience on key research questions and action items.
  • Draw out lessons learned and actionable takeaways that you can take back to your organization.

Featured Projects:

Material Handling 4.0: Building pathways to employment for disadvantaged groups: The supply chain sector is seeing shifts in the way it moves, stores, distributes, and disposes of materials and products. Material Handling 4.0 combines training, individualized student support, and practical work experience to help new material handlers transition into job opportunities within the supply chain sector.

What works for work? Employment integration in youth service hubs across Canada: Now expanded across Canada, this program helps young people facing barriers to entry into the job market due to mental health challenges. The team is providing evidence-based support and working with employers to integrate employment specialists into the mental health services team to help young people find, secure, and keep meaningful employment.

Moderator:

Dr. Arif Jetha

Scientist, Institute for Work & Health

Speakers:

Dr. Joanna Henderson

Director, CAMH

Natalie Shearer

Manager, Future Skills Partnerships, Mohawk College

2:00 p.m.
Break
2:15 p.m.
Plenary

The demands to adopt environmentally sustainable practices are growing, and many communities are experiencing massive shifts as industries such as the energy sector undergo change. Organizations and governments are committed to helping people within these regions transition and succeed — collaborating to drive policy change, set ambitious targets, and action innovation as we transition towards a low-carbon future. The green economy is seeing a growing demand for skills in areas such as clean energy and clean tech. To help achieve our climate goals, how can we reskill and upskill the workforce across sectors for the green jobs of the future — without leaving anyone behind?

Join us for this forward-looking discussion as panelists:

  • Examine the green economy transformation and the sectors at the helm of this shift.
  • Illustrate commitment to support and sustain people and regions undergoing transition.
  • Discuss the skills needed to support the transition and prepare Canada to be a leader in the green economy.
  • Share their organizations’ and outside examples of the green economy journey and workforce impacts.
  • Discuss innovative approaches and technologies to diminish the environmental footprint of the workforce.
  • Reflect on how Canada’s skills ecosystem can anticipate demand for skills in growing green sectors such as clean energy and clean tech.

Moderator:

Mike Moffatt

Senior Director, Policy and Innovation, Smart Prosperity Institute

Panelists:

Luisa Da Silva

Executive Director, Iron + Earth

Lasse Gustavsson

President & CEO, Ocean Wise Conservation Association

Jeanette Jackson

CEO, Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre

3:00 p.m.
Break
3:10 p.m.
Plenary Panel

All sectors need to do their part in ensuring skills policies and programs adapt to support job seekers, workers, and employers—priorities that are reflected in major investments in the federal government’s most recent budget. Recognizing that Canadians will face continuous change during their working lives, panellists will discuss the importance of continued education, skills training, and access to dynamic labour market information to better navigate a continuously changing world of work.

Moderator:

Tricia Williams

Director, Research, Evaluation and Knowledge Mobilization

Speakers:

Tony Bonen

Director of Research, Data, and Analytics, Labour Market Information Council

Dr. Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald

President, Holland College

Rachel Wernick

Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Skills and Employment Branch, Employment and Social Development Canada, Government of Canada

3:50 p.m.
Break
4:00 p.m.
Leadership Panel

Beyond the many transformations of the labour market discussed during the summit, it is certain that the work environment will continue to change in the coming decade. Our final panel focuses on the future of work, identifying the most impactful and important steps forward, giving a sense of the key elements of a future road map for the Canadian skills ecosystem.

Moderator:

Pedro Barata

Executive Director, Future Skills Centre

Illustrator:

Katie Chappell

Illustrator

Panelists:

Sanjay Khanna

Strategic Advisor and Foresight Expert, NOW Partners, LLC

Nadine Spencer

CEO, BrandEQ Group Inc.; CEO, Black Business Professional Association (BBPA)

Armine Yalnizyan

Atkinson Foundation’s Fellow, Future of Workers

4:45 p.m.

Session description coming soon.

Co-Host:

Julie Cafley

Vice-President, Communications & External Relations, Digital Research Alliance of Canada

Speakers:

Pedro Barata

Executive Director, Future Skills Centre

Katie Chappell

Illustrator

Steven Liss

Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University

About The Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead.

The Future Skills Centre was founded by a consortium whose members are Ryerson University, Blueprint, and The Conference Board of Canada, and is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

Learn more

In partnership with:

Ryerson University
The Conference Board of Canada
Blueprint
Funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program

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The details of this event are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.