This op-ed was originally published by iPolitics on April 8, 2021.
represents a critical step as it fully
relies on market evidence to make recommendations and guide decisions about jobs and
skills. Market knowledge and resources are now available to support users in finding the
steps in their new careers.
New tool can help job seekers and employers better adapt to the future of work
The global pandemic has hit Canada’s employment landscape hard and forced many Canadians to
transition to new opportunities in search of stability. Many jobs in industries such as travel,
hospitality and retail have temporarily vanished, causing tens of thousands of people to look
new employment opportunities.
Helping Canadians adapt to these very real and accelerating changes in their careers is a
challenge in how we envision a future of shared prosperity in Canada. With this in mind, the
Conference Board of Canada and the Future Skills Centre have developed “OpportuNext” as a
response to the disruptions impacting Canada’s job market.
A free-to-use online tool, OpportuNext is designed to help job placement organizations, job
and employers navigate career transition pathways more easily. It provides insights and
to facilitate career transitions and will assist employers who are looking for innovative
to their human resources challenges.
OpportuNext arrives at a critical time. Employment in Canada fell by more than 15% in just two
months last year and the unemployment rate rose above 13% in March 2020, according to Statistics
Canada. This is especially the case for women, indigenous people, and youth who were
disproportionately impacted by the sudden and dramatic shift in Canada’s labour force.
While the employment rate in Canada has gradually improved and is now below 9%, the pandemic has
caused dramatic changes in the career paths of Canadian workers, many of whom find that they do
have a job to return to as we emerge from a year of near-constant lockdown measures. Many
have already accelerated their use of automation and moved services online, eliminating jobs in
process. The recovery will take time, and the economic disruption will be felt very differently
across economic sectors.
Even before COVID-19, Canada’s job market was undergoing unprecedented, accelerated change due
several factors, including rapid technological innovations, changing consumer trends, and
business models. Fortunately, skills databases like OpportuNext can help members of the skills
development ecosystem (universities, employment agencies, human resources professionals, job
seekers) identify opportunities and plan career transitions, access relevant resources and pair
suitable candidates with meaningful work.
OpportuNext represents a critical step as it fully relies on market evidence to make
and guide decisions about jobs and skills. Market knowledge and resources are now available to
support users in finding the next steps in their new careers.
How does this tool work? OpportuNext is designed to help Canadian’s transition into a worthwhile
career and assist employers in finding the workers they need in today’s global economy. Users
find that the OpportuNext tool is intuitive, responsive, and easy to use. Users can enter basic
information such as their job title, and OpportuNext will then suggest job options using a
of 13 billion job characteristics. The tool identifies careers that require similar skills,
abilities and experience’ along with job salary and career outlook information.
This support can considerably facilitate emerging transition careers and options that would not
been considered previously by the users.
OpportuNext is a unique innovation and brings a much-needed tool, designed to follow and respond
the multiple changes impacting Canada’s job market. Online resources such as OpportuNext can be
invaluable to employers looking for innovative solutions to their human resources challenges and
will bring an important support to Canadian job seekers and employers in their effort to move
towards economic recovery and a more stable Canadian labour market.