The Future Skills Centre announced that it is investing $7.65 million over two years for 10 projects. The projects aim to help mid-career workers like oil and gas employees, cashiers, and truck drivers find training opportunities in high-growth sectors.
A research centre led by Ryerson University in partnership with research organizations Blueprint and the Conference Board of Canada, the Future Skills Centre was initially announced in February and tasked with funding projects related to skills development for workers. The Centre will receive $225 million of federal funding over four years and $75 million thereafter to fulfill this mandate.
The Centre will receive $225 million of federal funding over four years and $75 million thereafter to fulfill its mandate.
Examples of the accepted proposals include EDGE UP—a partnership between Calgary Economic Development, University of Calgary, SAIT, Bow Valley College, ICTC Canada, and Riipen—which will help Calgary energy workers transition into jobs like data analysts, full-stack developers, and information technology project managers. Another program led by Actua, which delivers tech education to youth across Canadian, will work with Indigenous community leaders and schools to increase participation of Indigenous youth in STEM careers through a for-credit high school program.
“The nature of work is changing and Canadians need to be equipped with the skills necessary to find the good, quality jobs of the future,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Workforce Development and Labour. “These ten new innovative projects will test new training approaches, across a number of sectors, to support Canadian workers to keep their skills up-to-date and in demand for the future Canadian economy.”
The projects were chosen out of 100 responses to the Centre’s call for proposals, which closed in May. The call sought projects that could train employees in sectors at high risk of displacement by technology. Blueprint will work with project partners to design evaluations that provide actionable information on what methods are most effective. The evaluation results will be used to understand how to best support mid-career workers, and ensure partners have information on what needs to be adjusted and improved.
The projects build on six inaugural projects announced in April, which are receiving $11.58 million over two years to test effective methods of digital skills training.
“We are really happy that this theme resonated with so many regional, community-based, and academic organizations,” said Mel Wright, interim executive director of the Future Skills Centre.
“Together with our partners, we look forward to learning from these projects and contributing to a growing evidence base of innovative and effective approaches to skills and training for mid-career workers, for the benefit of all Canadians.”
The full project descriptions can be found here.