The Future Skills Centre, a research organization based in Toronto, has launched a $15 million call for proposals for solutions that build resilience in the labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Future Skills Centre also recently launched a project supporting tourism and hospitality workers.
The organization is seeking proposals for activities such as research, network development, and innovation pilots that target sectors, regions, and populations currently facing urgent needs. Early or seed ideas can receive up to $25,000 investments, while large scale approaches with potential for exceptional impact can be funded up to $2.5 million.
“Skills development is an essential component of a strategy for post-pandemic recovery and building a better future for millions of Canadian workers,” said Pedro Barata, executive director of the Future Skills Centre.
“We are accelerating investments in groups, sectors, and regions where challenges are deepest and opportunities are emerging so we can support people now while learning lessons that can be scaled for future success,” he added.
Proposals should explore new insights and models within or across three levels of the labour market ecosystem: individuals, organizations, and system change. For individuals, solutions can help inform training and career development, particularly those who face barriers based on geography, background, or experience.
Solutions that address organizations should offer opportunities for private and public entities to adopt new technologies and provide insights on health and safety, policy development, and program delivery. Finally, to address system change, solutions should promote innovative approaches to policy and program development.
Proposals will be accepted and reviewed on a continuous intake basis starting May 26 through to at least September 1.
This call for proposals follows the recent launch of Future Skills Centre’s first COVID-19-related project, which was a $2.25 million partnership with Ontario Tourism Education Corporation. The organizations are working on a rapid response project to support displaced workers in the tourism and hospitality sector so they can navigate the current job market and develop new skills.
The Future Skills Centre is a research hub at Ryerson University and was initially launched in February 2019, tasked with funding projects related to skills development for workers. The centre is receiving $225 million of federal funding over four years and $75 million thereafter to fulfill this mandate.
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