Research

As part of our commitment to the Future Skills Centre, the Conference Board will research the skills Canadians are going to need and deliver insights on labour markets and learning ecosystems.

Our work focuses on the skills people need to make their livings and the paths they need to take to get there. We look at the impact of automation, sustainable livelihoods, career pathways, in-demand skills, and take a skills perspective on labour market information.

As well, we examine the role of post-secondary education and how skills are developed through work-integrated and experiential learning and apprenticeships to better understand how to prepare for the future.

87

Publication outputs

223,511

Downloads/visits
(as of July 27, 2022)

Latest Research

Two men sitting at a desk with thier computers
Beyond Blue and White Collar: A Skills-Based Approach to Canadian Job Groupings

In Canada’s modern, knowledge-based, and service-centric economy, employers are increasingly thinking about work from a skills perspective. Old-fashioned labels like “blue collar” and “white collar” are no longer relevant. As well, factors such as educational attainment or work experience are only proxies for assessing the skills of workers. This means that we need a more sophisticated way to talk about employment opportunities.

Issue briefing  |  10-min read
August 3, 2022
Focus Area—Canadian Economics

Masked woman inspecting product on shelf
Transitioning to Jobs in the Clean Economy

One in five Canadian employees works at a job that’s vulnerable to automation. The clean economy is a rapid-growth sector that needs workers. Is there a way to solve for both? Employees working high-risk, low-mobility (HRLM) jobs have few options to transition into lower-risk occupations without undergoing retraining.

Online experience  |  8-min read
July 28, 2022
Focus Area—Innovation & Technology

Person holding a pen and writing on a piece of paper
Finding Your Employability Skills

The Employability Skills Toolkit is a guide to the skills needed to adapt and succeed in the world of work. It includes explanations and descriptions of these skills and ways to build them. The Toolkit includes key information about how to become job-ready and exercises to practice and apply what you have learned.

Online experience  |  8-min read
July 28, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Research by theme

A revolution is coming to the skilled trades, and tradespeople will need a range of new digital skills to keep pace with the future of work. Our research explores the future of work in skilled trades and the role that apprenticeships can play in preparing for an increasingly dynamic workforce. Focusing on several sectors undergoing change, our research lays the groundwork for additional work in experiential learning.

Construction site
Rising Skills: A Toolbox Talk on Social and Emotional Skills in the Construction Trades

The construction trades workforce is changing. Tradespeople are tackling new challenges in multi-generational and increasingly diverse workplaces. What skills do tradespeople need to adapt to these trends?

Issue briefing  |  15-min read  |  December 14, 2020
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Construction site
Rising Skills: Digital Skills Needs for Smart and Connected Vehicles

As the automotive industry shifts toward connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) vehicles, tradespeople will need stronger digital competencies. To work with new tools on smart vehicles, tradespeople need seven core digital skills.

Issue briefing  |  15-min read  |  December 14, 2020
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Construction site
Rising Skills: Digital Upskilling for Advanced Manufacturing Workplaces

The manufacturing sector is becoming more technologically advanced. Tradespeople need 21st-century digital skills to adapt to these 21st-century workplaces. But the sector is struggling to attract young people and women into the trades.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read  |  December 14, 2020
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Construction site
Rising Skills: Emerging Skills in the Food Services Trades

Commercial kitchens are becoming more automated, connected, and diverse workplaces. Repetitive tasks are being automated, freeing up time for workers. Food‑delivery apps and the increasing use of social media are changing the way customers and restaurants interact. And labour shortages mean employers need to work harder to find the skilled talent they need, especially Red Seal‑certified cooks.

Issue briefing  |  15-min read  |  December 14, 2020
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Bridging Generational Divides: Advancing Digital Skills in Canada’s Apprenticeships nd Skilled Trades Ecosystem

Tradespeople will need a range of new digital skills to keep pace with the future of work. These are the technical and non-technical skills needed to thrive in digitally connected workplaces. The next generation of tradespeople will need them to operate computerized equipment, access blueprints on digital devices, and use digital diagnostic tools, among other tasks.

Impact paper  |  30-min read  |  September 15, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

Bridging Generational Divides: Digital Skills in the Trades

Tradespeople identified seven core 21st-century digital skills that are needed to adapt to the future of the trades. These skills require knowledge of digital tools and interact with both trade-specific technical knowledge and social/emotional skills, which evolve over a person’s lifespan.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read  |  September 15, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

There’s a revolution happening in skilled trades

The revolution is being sparked by automation, low-carbon economies, digitization, and other emerging work trends. These new technologies need skills that are not usually at the core of a trade school education.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 8, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

Building on our previous research on occupations at-risk from automation, this work examines the pathways people might take to transition to more stable careers. Starting with the growing occupations in the clean economy, we look at skills, jobs, and training data to identify occupations that will become important. We examine the human factors in job transitions, and start to clear a path from at-risk to rapid growth.

Masked woman inspecting product on shelf
Transitioning to Jobs in the Clean Economy

One in five Canadian employees works at a job that’s vulnerable to automation. The clean economy is a rapid-growth sector that needs workers. Is there a way to solve for both? Employees working high-risk, low-mobility (HRLM) jobs have few options to transition into lower-risk occupations without undergoing retraining.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  July 28, 2022
Focus Area—Innovation & Technology

Responding to Automation: Building a Cleaner Future

Could the clean economy offer brighter futures for workers at risk of automation? In a previous study, we identified 92 occupations at a high risk of automation with few desirable opportunities to transition into lower-risk ones. These high-risk, low-mobility (HRLM) occupations account for one in five employees in Canada. Is your industry vulnerable to automation?

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  June 3, 2021
Focus area—Innovation & Technology

We examine the major factors that shape career pathways for Indigenous finance and management professionals and identify resources that have helped Indigenous professionals establish their careers. This work seeks to understand what’s needed to grow the talent pool of Indigenous corporate services professionals.

Indigenous woman sitting at a desk and typing on a computer
Indigenous Finance and Management Professionals

As reflected in recent Supreme Court decisions, parliamentary debates, and public opinion polls, Indigenous rights are increasingly part of major project decisions. This spans sectors such as power generation, mining, and oil and gas. While at times contentious, the assertion of Indigenous rights presents a bold new vision of economic reconciliation with opportunities for Indigenous communities looking to determine their economic futures.

Impact paper  |  29-min read  |  June 22, 2022
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Person on tablet looking at analytics
Finance and Management Skills for Economic Reconciliation

To shape Canada’s economy in partnership with Indigenous people, we need to understand how a dynamic new generation of Indigenous professionals can take the lead in managing their communities’ unique corporate services. Indigenous skilled labour is critical to realizing a new vision of economic reconciliation where First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities control their economic futures.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 27, 2022
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Indigenous Financial Management: Finally Finding Balance

To shape Canada’s future economy and build Indigenous communities across the country, we need more Indigenous people in finance and management roles in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations.

Online experience  |  4-min read  |  June 4, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

There are many forms of Indigenous-centred post-secondary education in Canada trying to help Indigenous students do well in school. Our work identifies the best practices that leading Indigenous institutes have developed to help First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students succeed in post-secondary fields and the job market. It also explores how Indigenous institutes compare with, and complement, public post-secondary institutions.

Filling in the Map of Indigenous Controlled Post-Secondary Education in Canada

Many Indigenous groups across Canada mandate, govern, and control their own post-secondary institutions. These Indigenous Institutes support lifelong learning as defined by Indigenous Peoples. They also offer education grounded in Indigenous languages, pedagogies, cultures, and worldviews.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  March 17, 2021
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Opportunities for Collaboration in Indigenous Education

Indigenous Institutes play an essential role in helping Indigenous peoples—Canada’s fastest-growing population prepare for the labour market. And they bring a distinctly Indigenous lens to higher education. Many are looking for ways to support Indigenous learners and provide culturally safe spaces for learning and research.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  December 7, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Old School/New School: Comparing Indigenous-Centred Post-Secondary Education in Canada

In 1972 the Assembly of First Nations—launched a movement by First Nations to reclaim control of their education. Fifty years on, many forms of Indigenous-centred post-secondary education (PSE) exist in Canada. All of them aspire to help Indigenous students succeed.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  March 26, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Can cross-cultural curricula help Indigenous learners transition to, and graduate from, post-secondary STEM fields? And will they open doors to employment opportunities? Our research identifies best practices for designing, teaching, and supporting cross-cultural STEM curricula for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students. It also looks at how sectoral change is affecting employment in STEM fields and the skills development ecosystems that serve Indigenous learners—and what can be done to seize emerging opportunities.

Boy fixing equipment
Saskatchewan’s Forest Sector: Future Skills for an Indigenous-Led Revitalization

The Canadian forest sector is facing a challenge to attract, train, and retain workers. In this boom-and-bust industry, forestry companies must increase efficiency in order to remain competitive when the market is weak while also responding to growing demand for sustainable practices and high-value wood products. Indigenous forestry businesses are no strangers to this dilemma.

Case study  |  25-min read  |  November 30, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Two men working in a mine
Skills Development in Northern Mining Regions

For many northern Indigenous communities, mineral exploration properties and active mines are the closest employers. Mining is big business in northern Manitoba. The industry has been a strong source of employment for Indigenous workers, with accessible entry-level positions and opportunities to learn on the job. While the benefits of short-term job training are attractive, Indigenous communities are having to make complicated decisions about economic development that have long-term implications.

Case study  |  15-min read  |  November 4, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

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

Occupations and in-demand skills are changing. Two-thirds of workers expect their jobs to be changed by technology every five years. Other forces driving labour market change in Northern Canada include commodity cycles, demographic change, climate change, modern treaties, and Indigenous self-government. Understanding how these changes impact workforce development across Northern Canada requires looking beyond the training institutions that deliver skills for jobs.

Primer  |  30-min read  |  September 9, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Technological Change in the North

The economy in Northern Canada is changing. Sectors, such as mining, forestry, and tourism, can quickly expand or contract. Advancing technology is one factor driving those changes. As technologies change, jobs and occupations evolve. Skills development must keep pace if workers are to seize future employment opportunities in the North.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  May 20, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Woman reading with small children
Learning Together: STEM Outreach Programs for Indigenous Students

In response to a national conversation about reconciliation, governments, the formal education system, and non-profit organizations are wanting to address educational gaps and improve the representation of Indigenous peoples in STEM with extra attention and resources. This awareness, combined with an increasing focus on equity issues in STEM, has increased efforts to bring STEM outreach to Indigenous students.

Impact paper  |  25-min read  |  December 9, 2020
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Student in lab coat working with chemistry equipment
Indigenous STEM Access Programs: Leading Post-Secondary Inclusion

The transition from high school to post-secondary education (PSE) is a time of uncertainty for many students. Educational, cultural, and economic challenges make this transition even more complex for Indigenous learners transferring into PSE in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Issue briefing  |  14-min read  |  December 9, 2020
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Curriculum and Reconciliation: Introducing Indigenous Perspectives into K–12 Science

The Indigenous population in Canada is younger and growing more rapidly than any other socio-demographic segment in the country. Expanding resource development opportunities and increasing recognition of Indigenous rights are creating unique economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples.

Impact paper  |  32-min read  |  October 15, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Incorporating Indigenous Cultures and Realities in STEM

When educators use a culturally responsive curriculum—one that bridges Indigenous ways of knowing with Western science—Indigenous students are more engaged and perform better.

Primer  |  40-min read  |  June 11, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

How Can More Indigenous People Access STEM Careers?

About 4 per cent of Canadian adults are Indigenous. But less than 2 per cent of people working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations are. Improving Indigenous participation and leadership in major economic sectors, such as science, technology, and finance, is an important part of the reconciliation journey.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  March 26, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Automation-enabling technologies will cause swift changes in the skills many industries need. In our work, we identify which employees are at high risk from automation and have limited ability to transition into new roles. We also examine where these jobs are concentrated—both in terms of industries and regions—and which technologies are most likely to disrupt labour markets.

Automation Vulnerability in Canada

The Automation Vulnerability Index (AVI) measures how susceptible a region is to disruption by automation. It ranges from 0 to 1, with higher index scores indicating more vulnerability. The Index comprises five indicators with equal weights.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 15, 2021
Focus area—Innovation & Technology

Automation in Canada’s Regions

Our leaders need to be ready. Automation-enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics will cause swift changes in the skills many industries need. In Canada, nearly one in five employees are already in an occupation at high risk of automation, where transitioning into a lower-risk occupation would require significant retraining.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 8, 2021
Focus area—Innovation & Technology

Preparing Canada’s Economies for Automation

Employment declines in occupations that involve routine tasks have been under way for decades. However, it is unclear how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will impact local economies. As some occupations and industries are more vulnerable to automation than others, and regional economies have different occupational and industry mixes, regions may experience the impact of automation differently.

Issue briefing  |  15-min read  |  March 15, 2021
Focus area—Innovation & Technology

Responding to Automation: Technology Adoption in Canadian Industries

Canadian industries have experienced rapid technological change with the advent of several transformative innovations over the past decade. Different technologies pose different re-skilling and occupational transition challenges across industries. Business leaders need to be mindful of which technology they adopt.

Impact paper  |  20-min read  |  January 28, 2021
Focus area—Innovation & Technology

Bracing for Automation: What Are Canada’s Most Vulnerable Jobs?

In an era of lightning-fast technological change, it’s more important than ever that Canadian leaders understand how the adoption of new technologies will impact Canada’s labour force.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  May 28, 2020
Focus area—Innovation & Technology

Our novel research applies a skills framework based on international sources and job postings data to Canadian labour data. This will allow us to identify skill vacancies and provide longer-term supply and demand forecasts of skills under different assumptions. It will also help us understand how skills cluster together, how skills are developed, how the market values skills, and to identify viable and desirable career transitions for workers.

Two men sitting at a desk with thier computers
Beyond Blue and White Collar: A Skills-Based Approach to Canadian Job Groupings

In Canada’s modern, knowledge-based, and service-centric economy, employers are increasingly thinking about work from a skills perspective. Old-fashioned labels like “blue collar” and “white collar” are no longer relevant. As well, factors such as educational attainment or work experience are only proxies for assessing the skills of workers. This means that we need a more sophisticated way to talk about employment opportunities.

Issue briefing  |  10-min read  |  August 3, 2022
Focus Area—Canadian Economics

The Model of Occupations, Skills and Technology

To help prepare Canadians for the future of work, our researchers and data scientists proudly developed the MOST on behalf of the Future Skills Centre. A sophisticated and data-rich projection tool, the MOST is designed to offer unique insights into the skills that will power Canada’s future labour markets.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  July 27, 2022
Focus Area—Canadian Economics

Two women working and focused on an experiment in a classroom
Future Skills Summit 2022 Insights Summary

In February 2022, The Conference Board of Canada presented the Future Skills Centre’s first national summit. The virtual summit hosted more than 1,700 participants and 55 speakers. It included plenaries, fireside chats, panel discussions, and ActionLabs that profiled key learnings from ongoing Future Skills Centre projects. Here, we summarize the learnings from the summit.

Issue briefing  |  19-min read  |  June 14, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Boy working in a coffee shop with an apron
Career Able: Job Transitions for Canadians With Disabilities

Everyone needs career options, including people with disabilities. The Conference Board of Canada, on behalf of the Future Skills Centre, is leading a study to support the job transitions of people with disabilities. The study aims to promote labour market retention and career mobility for this equity-deserving group.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  May 16, 2022
Focus Area—Inclusion

Woman putting sticky notes on board
Economic Cost of Skills Vacancies

When an employer wants to fill a vacant job, they are really looking for a set of skills to help them complete specific tasks. Until that employer can recruit a new employee, they don’t have access to the skills they need. So job vacancies can actually be thought of as skill-set vacancies: an unmet need for particular skills.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  March 2, 2022
Focus Area—Canadian Economics

Space to Grow: Job Transitions in Ontario’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Tourism and hospitality is one of Ontario’s key economic drivers. In 2019, the sector employed over 620,000 Ontarians and generated nearly $21 billion in labour income. Before the pandemic-related disruptions, employment in the sector had been stable and sustainable. However, Ontario’s labour market is steadily evolving and, for some tourism and hospitality workers, this evolution has led to job losses, and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased and accelerated these pressures.

Impact Paper  |  15-min read  |  April 23, 2021
Focus area—Canadian Economics

OpportuNext: Online Career Transition Tool

A new solution for a changing job market. Switching careers can be hard—but what if there were an easier way to identify, assess and pursue new opportunities? The Conference Board of Canada and the Future Skills Centre are excited to launch a free online tool designed to help job placement professionals, jobseekers and employers quickly and easily explore viable career transition pathways.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 8, 2021
Focus Area—Education & Skills

A Path Forward Job Transitions in Canada

Workers considering a career change need to better understand how to capitalize on their current skills, education, abilities, experience, and knowledge. Similarly, human resource professionals, educational institutions, and labour market policy-makers need a better sense of what skills, education, abilities, experience, and knowledge characteristics make someone more employable, today and in the future.

Impact paper  |  25-min read  |  March 16, 2021
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Modelling Job Transitions in Canada

Employment in Canada is going to look different in the future. The types of education, abilities, skills, and experiences that employers seek are evolving amid a confluence of forces reshaping the nature of work around the world. Disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics, unmanned vehicles, and the Internet of Things, the growing share of knowledge-based services, and the rise of technology-enabled platforms will reshape careers.

Primer  |  20-min read  |  March 16, 2021
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Bridging Canada’s skills gap

The skills that workers need are changing thanks to automation and new technologies. That means it’s more important than ever to find reliable ways to identify the gaps between the skills workers have and the skills employers need, and how those gaps will change over time.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  March 24, 2020
Focus area—Canadian Economics

Identifying the skills that will be needed for tomorrow’s world of work.

Person using mouse and keyboard with neon lights
Digital Skills for a Future-Ready World

Our world has become more and more digital in recent decades. Prior to the pandemic, the pace of digitalization was consistently increasing with the non-stop introduction of new digital tools and technologies. The pandemic hit, and that pace accelerated even more.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  May 11, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Regional and Virtual Sounding Tours

In collaboration with the Future Skills Centre (FSC), The Conference Board of Canada engaged Canadians who are actively engaged in the country’s skills and training community, as well as individuals interested in learning more about skills development and the future of work.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  March 14, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

The most in-demand job skills aren’t technical—they’re social and emotional. These include skills like communication, leadership, cultural competence, resiliency, and problem-solving. Our research in this area explores several aspects of social and emotional skills—how they are perceived and valued in the workplace, how they are measured, and their potential to help workers transition between jobs.

Person holding a pen and writing on a piece of paper
Finding Your Employability Skills

The Employability Skills Toolkit is a guide to the skills needed to adapt and succeed in the world of work. It includes explanations and descriptions of these skills and ways to build them. The Toolkit includes key information about how to become job-ready and exercises to practice and apply what you have learned.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  July 28, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Man smiling outside
Strengthening Social and Emotional Skills in Adults: The Learning Experience at Canadian Colleges

We know that social and emotional skills (SES)—such as communication, collaboration, and leadership—are critical for life success. Yet the bulk of programs that teach SES end after high school. We continue developing SES in adulthood—through informal experiences like employment, co-ops, volunteering, extracurriculars, and caregiving, as well as formal instruction. These skills are important. So how are post-secondary institutions teaching them?

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 13, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Man looking up
Bridging the Gap Between Identity and Social and Emotional Skills

According to previous work by The Conference Board of Canada, the changing nature of work is increasing the demand not only for technical skills, but also for social and emotional skills (SES). SES are associated with employability and include skills like leadership, cultural competence, active listening, problem-solving, resiliency, collaboration, and communication.

Issue briefing  |  9-min read  |  April 13, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Finding Value: Identifying and Assessing Social and Emotional Skills in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the tourism and hospitality (T&H) sector, leading to business closures and employee layoffs. Traditionally, the T&H sector attracts young Canadians with little to no work experience. Yet young T&H workers who have no work experience outside of the sector have been severely impacted by layoffs.

Impact paper  |  15-min read  |  September 21, 2021
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Waitres looking at a tablet
Searching for Strengths: Gaps and Opportunities for Social and Emotional Skills Development in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector

The tourism and hospitality (T&H) sector was hit especially hard by the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund reported that the industry “will continue to struggle until people feel safe to travel en masse again.” Helping displaced workers in the sector find new and meaningful employment is crucial to both the people who have been directly affected and the broader economic recovery.

Issue briefing  |  15-min read  |  September 21, 2021
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Social and Emotional Skills Are Top of Mind Across Canada

When we asked people across Canada to identify the most important skills for career success, they overwhelmingly identified social and emotional skills (SES), like communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills, along with leadership and adaptability.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read  |  January 25, 2021
Focus area—Education & Skills

What Are Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions Saying and Doing?

Beyond what institutions are saying, we also wanted to understand what they are doing to develop student SES. Post-secondary activities that promote SES development fall into two categories: extra-curricular or embedded within programs and curricula. We scanned PSI program and departmental websites to find examples from across Canada.

Issue briefing  |  15-min read  |  January 21, 2021
Focus area—Education & Skills

Measuring Social and Emotional Skills

The demand for social and emotional skills (SES) is growing. But few reliable tools are available to measure SES in adolescents and adults, and it can be difficult to figure out which existing tools are best. Also, there’s little consensus among researchers and practitioners on how to best define and measure SES.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  November 10, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

The Future is Social and Emotional: Summary for Executives

More and more, employers require new hires who possess not only specialized knowledge and technical skills, but also social and emotional or “human” skills.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read  |  April 29, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

The Future Is Social and Emotional: Evolving Skills Needs in the 21st Century

Demand for skilled employees is not new, but the skills considered “in demand” have evolved. While developing skills is a life long endeavour, the skills that Canadians learn through post-secondary training are key to workplace success. But demand for social and emotional skills (SES) is growing. Are we doing enough to prepare Canadians for the evolving workplace?

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 8, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

The Future Is Social and Emotional: Evolving Skills Needs in the 21st Century

The most in-demand skills for today’s and tomorrow’s labour market aren’t technical—they’re social and emotional. Academic research and industry surveys on skills needs indicate that social and emotional skills (SES), or human skills, are critical for employability and career success. But are Canada’s education and training systems doing enough to prepare students for work?

Impact paper  |  38-min read  |  March 31, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

This work examines career pathways for Indigenous workers in Inuit Nunangat and how Inuit skills, knowledge, and values can be applied to market-based employment opportunities. To help understand the context, we identified factors that create non-standard employment conditions for Inuit labour in Northern Canada. Our work also describes and analyzes resources that have helped Northern Inuit workers establish their careers.

ATV driving in snow
Building Bridges: Increasing Opportunity for Inuit

Employers need better tools to address employment gaps within their organizations. Understanding Inuit strengths, skills, and cultural knowledge can help. Industries and public institutions tied to Inuit communities have a responsibility to empower Inuit employment and lead by example. Those that do will also benefit from increased capacity, Inuit expertise, and social investments.

Online experience  |  8-min read
April 11, 2022
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Values, Knowledge, and Vision: How Inuit Skills Can Strengthen Northern Economies

The relationship between the wage economy and the traditional land-based economy in Inuit Nunangat is complex—as is Inuit participation in both. Traditional land-based activities such as hunting and harvesting are integral to community food security and cultural continuity, but the ways in which Inuit experience and earn these livelihoods continue to evolve.

Primer  |  18-min read |  December 20, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Boat in water
Made in Nunavut: Building Inuit Skills for Northern Offshore Fisheries and Beyond

Nunavut’s economy is largely dependent on mining and public administration. But the territory’s commercial fishery and associated marine capacity has continued to grow over the past two decades. Just prior to COVID-19, the Nunavut Fisheries Alliance estimated that the territory’s commercial fishery added $112 million to Canada’s 2019 GDP. This includes the fishery’s direct operations, its companies’ supply chains, and associated consumer spending.

Impact paper  |  30-min read
December 14, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Linking Skills to Employment in Inuit Nunangat

Economic opportunities in the region can benefit from Inuit skillsets, strengths, and knowledge. And Inuit have told us they are interested in finding a balance between market participation and traditional land-based activities. Our research will provide insights to help Northern economies grow and support sustainable livelihoods.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read  |  May 13, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Linking Employment to Sources of Value in Inuit Nunangat

Many Inuit want to find a balance between market participation and traditional land-based activities. They want diverse jobs that strengthen their communities’ social resources—and that expand on existing cultural knowledge and traditional skill sets. And they want to see their social and cultural values reflected in the sectors that dominate Northern GDP.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  May 13, 2021
Focus Area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Sustainable Northern Livelihoods

Economic growth in Canada’s North has outpaced the rest of the country. This primer discusses the challenges still faced by Indigenous people in the North, who continue to experience socio-economic disparities.

Primer  |  25-min read  |  June 9, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Northern Livelihoods

In Canada, there are consistent gaps in both employment and income between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. These gaps aren’t uniform, either. Between on-reserve First Nations, off-reserve First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, as well as between men and women, noticeable differences exist. This is holding back economic growth and hurting economic reconciliation.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  March 26, 2020
Focus area—Indigenous & Northern Communities

Canadian businesses need talent with practical experience and future-relevant skills. One of the most promising ways to do this is work-integrated learning (WIL). We talked to stakeholders across the country about how to improve access to WIL.

Boy staring at a notebook
Transforming Learning in a Pandemic Context

Across Canada, in-person learning opportunities for nursing students became limited or stopped completely at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet learning criteria, nursing programs had to pivot. For example, some expanded the use of virtual simulations and scenarios as an alternative to in-person care in hospitals, long-term facilities, or community-based experiences.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  April 7, 2022
Focus Area—Education & Skills

Working Students, Building Futures

To stay competitive in the wake of COVID-19, Canadian businesses will need talent with practical experience and future-relevant skills.

Online experience  |  8-min read  |  December 23, 2020
Focus area—Education & Skills

In partnership with:

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