This week has been an extremely busy time for labour market information. I'll try to unpack some of the highlights in case you missed them.
Future Skills Summit
According to Pedro Barata, CEO of the Future Skills Centre, this online event spanned 3 days with 54 speakers and 14+ sessions, attracting thousands of delegates from workers, labourers, employers, governments at all levels, committee members, educators, researchers, etc. There was so much information to process, but I'll quote Pedro in his closing remarks, who identified the reoccurring themes:
- First and foremost, the importance of purpose in our recurring work, and the recurring theme of skills as a crucial piece of the puzzle for a reclusive recovery and shared prosperity...
- The second reoccurring theme, career development is our super power. It may be underappreciated, but it is our superpower that will make or break our ability for every Canadian to embrace a lifelong learning agenda.
- Third, we also heard example after example of the need to work with employers, but to go beyond one employer at a time, and work with whole sectors is the only way we will meaningfully embed skills development as a core business strategy and navigating change.
- Finally, the opportunity for us to get ahead of the curve on the megatrends that will shape our economy. We will talk about this with our panel. Things like immigration, SME, and the green ship. Our work is complex, but it is our job to help make sense of it for Canadians, and to see where we go from here.
On Tuesday, the government announced a deficit budget that addresses some of the larger barriers to employment:
- Childcare: Further investments in child care that include a promise of $20 a day for parents by the end of 2022, adding more licensing officers to speed up the certification process for new daycares, more ECE training positions, and financial supports for those seeking the training.
- Mental Health & Addictions: Increased funding toward more emergent care supports in communities, continued funding to the Pathway to Hope program, and support for 15 First Nations Primary Health Care Centres.
- Housing & Homelessness: Adding another $100 million to the province's 10-year plan to combat homelessness, including more staff to process applications under the Housing Hub program.
- Labour Market Supports: Tourism & Arts are to receive $25 million for pandemic recovery and old-growth loggers can expect a $185 million fund for retraining, bridging to retirement, and community economic development to make way for the green economy.
- Truth & Reconciliation: Creation of a new UNDRIP secretariat with an investment of $12 million over the next three years to ensure that BC follows the laws under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act.
- Connectivity: Further investments to connect 280 First Nations, rural and remote communities to high-speed internet.
And just when I started relaxing into all this information, things got even more exciting. Ceric dropped a request for proposal
for market research on the career development sector. This project is exciting in that it will provide government, researchers, and employment services providers with valuable data that has the potential to affect funding frameworks and raise the profile of employment services in Canada. I am working with some of our partners to determine how ASPECT and its members can be involved in this endeavour.
CEO, ASPECT BC