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Key issues shaping the future of work and skills in Canada are highlighted in the latest Skills Next Project Reports

June 25, 2020

Through Skills Next, the Public Policy Forum (external link)  and Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute —in its role as a research lead for the Future Skills Centre (external link)  — are publishing a series of six reports and two podcasts that explore a number of the most important issues currently impacting the skills ecosystem in Canada. Released today is Mapping the Landscape: Indigenous Skills Training and Jobs in Canada (external link)  which explores the barriers to employment for Indigenous peoples and provides recommendations on addressing the continual structural issues.

Over 3 million Canadians are now unemployed and looking for work. This is a time of immense change for the 19 million Canadians in the workforce. Better understanding of the pre-COVID precarious skills training system is important as the country innovates how it works, educates and trains its current and future workforce. 

“The Skills Next series outlines the facts about the present and future of work, grappling with problems on both the supply and demand side, said Wendy Cukier, Founder and Academic Director, Diversity Institute and professor, entrepreneurship and strategy, Ted Rogers School of Management. “There is no question: job seekers and workers need the right skills to thrive, but employers also need to diversify and actively recruit skilled workers from chronically underemployed, equity-seeking groups.”

The previous Skills Next set of reports (external link)  was released in January and February 2020.

Skills Next, is a series that explores what is working in workplaces, universities, and the labour market – and where workers are falling through the gaps in our skills training system. The series is authored by an expansive and diverse network of researchers and subject experts.  Each report focuses on one issue, reviews the existing state of knowledge on this topic, and identifies areas in need of additional research.


·   Digital skills and training

·   Barriers to employment for specific groups and demographics

·   Alternative approaches to skills & training

·   Offering readers a primer on what we know, what we don’t know, and how we can dig deeper on skills training & the future of work;


·   Mapping the Landscape: Indigenous Skills Training and Jobs in Canada (external link) 

·   Understanding the Nature and Experience of Gig Work in Canada (external link) 

·   Technology-Enabled Innovations in the Skills and Employment Ecosystem (opens in new window)  

·   Competency Frameworks and Canada’s Essential Skills (opens in new window)  

·   Economic Equality in a Changing World: Removing Gender Barriers to Employment (opens in new window)  

·   Small and Medium-sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills

·   Policy Speaking (external link) , a podcast by Public Policy Forum and hosted by Edward Greenspon presents a two-part episode with Wendy Cukier, Julie Cafley and Pedro Barata.  They discuss Skills Next Project and the state of skills and competency training in Canada.

Learn more about our Skills Next project and explore all 14 papers here! (external link)