Identifying opportunities and challenges

Businesses are rapidly adopting new technologies that are increasing their productivity and market reach, allowing them to better meet customer preferences, and improving or leading to entirely new products and services. In some cases, these technologies are substituting for job tasks that have previously been carried out by people.

Our recent report, The Talented Mr. Robot, found that nearly 42 percent of Canadian jobs are likely to be affected in some way by automation over the next 10 to 20 years. While this doesn’t mean that these jobs will disappear, it’s likely that many will change – so too will the skills that workers require. The objective of this project is to provide a more robust, stakeholder-informed evidence base for policies, programs and services aimed at supporting Ontario’s workers and communities as they adjust, adapt and take advantage of new opportunities presented by automation.

By drawing on data as well as the insights and advice of a wide array of stakeholders, including industry and labour leaders, employers, workers, service providers, educators, and academic experts, we aim to further our collective understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead, and chart a path for action.

Setting the course for 2017-2018

Below are the critical phases we’ll be executing to complete our final report.


Expert Advisory Panel

The Expert Advisory Panel will advise on the project’s scope, methodology and provide guidance.

Citizen Engagement

A number of community consultations will take place over the course of the project, to capture local insights and frontline expertise. All Ontarians are welcome to participate. We are seeking insights from workers, employers, service providers and other community leaders, through interviews, workshops and a survey. Updates on these consultations will be shared here.  

We will also hold a Twitter chat in January 2018 to unpack key insights and drive more discussion and engagement.

Sector Research + Analysis

We will engage key stakeholders from two sectors in Ontario, as identified by the Expert Advisory Panel. We are aiming to interview a broad cross-section of individuals, including from large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, organizations on the cutting edge of technology development and commercialization, industry associations, and labour organizations.

We are building on existing research to help fill key gaps in our understanding of how technological change – and automation in particular – will impact Ontario’s workforce.

Final Report

This project will result in a final report in March 2018 that will describe what automation means for Ontario’s labour market and provide advice on possible avenues that governments, employers, education and training providers, community organizations and others could consider to better help Ontario’s workers adjust to a changing economy.