TORONTO—The federal Future Skills Centre has announced the launch of six projects intended to test new approaches to developing skills for Canada’s workforce.
The centre, funded by the federal government, will involve some 5,000 workers from across the country participating in diverse skills development programs, a recent release stated.
The government has committed $11.58 million in funding over two years for the projects.
The six test projects are:
The Indigenous ICT Development Centre will work with FireSpirit and ID Fusion Software to develop approaches for paid training and work experience, job coaching and mentorship in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in Winnipeg and The Pas, Man.
The Facilitating Access to Skills Talent (FAST) online program will be co-ordinated through the Immigration Employment Council of British Columbia. The program helps newcomers overcome employment barriers such as international credential recognition and a lack of Canadian work experience.
The project will test FAST’s model with expanded occupation streams in skilled trades, biotechnology, life sciences, accounting, tourism and hospitality in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
The For-Credit InSTEM Program will be undertaken in partnership with Indigenous community leaders, local school boards, elders and industry partners. The project will work with youth in their home communities in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and northern Alberta to determine how a locally and culturally relevant approach to building digital literacy can break down workforce barriers for Indigenous and northern youth, the release explained.
The Bridging Competencies in a Technology-supported Youth Employment Pathway program will work with tech partners OTEC, MaRS Discovery District and First Work to focus on matching young people to technology careers.
The Future Skills Innovation Network for Universities brings together a national network of universities for a project that will address three major challenges to building inclusive forms of skill development — greater integration of future skills in formal and informal teaching; increased access to and success within post-secondary education for underrepresented students; and more flexible learning formats to better facilitate skills acquisition, the release explains.
Defining Digital Competencies enlists the Information Technology Association Canada to define a set of relevant digital competencies for the next three years.
Curriculum will be developed and tested for alternative pathways into digital roles for graduates with non-STEM backgrounds as well as internationally educated professionals and potential workers without traditional credentials.
This program will target job seekers and employers in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia.