Employment in 2030: Action Labs

This project aims to translate our Employment in 2030 research into practical solutions that help workers across Canada gain the skills and abilities critical for the future of work

Project Team

Heather Russek
Collaborator, Innovation Design + Futures
Jessica Thornton
Collaborator
Michelle Park
Project Manager
Darren Elias
Collaborator
Diana Rivera
Senior Economist
Erin Warner
BII+E Alumni

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Why we’re doing this project

With the broad-scale shift to remote work, changing global powers, and the growing climate emergency, Canada’s economy is evolving rapidly. COVID-19 has, in many ways, disrupted or accelerated the pace of change. Inevitably, these technological, social, environmental, and political shifts will alter the nature of work — introducing new threats and uncertainties, as well as new opportunities.

BII+E’s Employment in 2030 initiative focused on responding to these changes to create a holistic, detailed, and actionable forecast of in-demand skills. The Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth (FCOG) was released earlier this year along with a web app and the data and modelling code that we used to build it. The forecast identified a number of foundational skills and abilities that are projected to enable workers to remain resilient to labour market change over the next decade. These include: fluency of ideas, memorization, instructing, persuasion, and service orientation.

The aim of Employment in 2030: Action Labs is to build on the FCOG by supporting the design of policies and programs that help workers gain the skills and abilities they need to be resilient in the next decade. With this project, we plan to:

  • explore how COVID-19 might impact the trends, foundational skills, and abilities that were identified in the Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth (FCOG)
  • apply the Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth (FCOG) to policy and program design
  • co-create regionally relevant interventions and / or solutions to help more organizations and people build the skills that will be critical for the future of work
  • gather feedback from workshop participants to inform potential future iterations of the FCOG

This project is part of the portfolio of work by the Future Skills Centre, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program in partnership of Ryerson University, the Conference Board of Canada, and Blueprint.

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Our Approach

This project will translate the Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth (FCOG) into action, helping to ensure the Canadian workforce is equipped with the most critical foundational skills and abilities for 2030. We will use a combination of futures research, prototyping, and creative, interactive workshops to drive our solutions-oriented project. 

Over the course of 11 months, this project will involve a series of activities:

  • Futures research: COVID-19 has created a range of labour market disruptions while influencing, and in some cases, accelerating existing trends. We’re updating Turn and Face the Strange to identify how COVID-19 and other emerging trends may impact the future of Canada’s labour market in 2030. 
  • National expert panel: The Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth (FCOG) identified five foundational skills and abilities that align with occupations projected to grow in employment share by 2030. We will engage experts across Canada to discuss how COVID-19 and other emerging trends may impact this forecast and the implications for skills demand in 2030. 
  • Regional prototyping workshops: The FCOG, alongside other forecasts, as well as the updated Turn and Face the Strange will be the basis of virtual prototyping workshops held with five regional partners across Canada. These workshops will engage participants in identifying potential service offerings or interventions to help workers gain the skills and abilities they need to be resilient in the next decade. The prototyping workshops will be carefully designed to guide participants—from different sectors and backgrounds, with diverse perspectives—through a structured, impact-oriented process, leading to rich, multifaceted discussions and the creation of robust prototypes. Prototypes created during the workshops will be refined and shared with partners and funders. Participants will test their assumptions, refine their ideas, and identify the critical next steps needed to enable their solutions.
  • Insights reports: We will document our process as we go, sharing key insights along the way in the form of web content, blogs, and more.

If you would like to get involved with this project, as an advisor, or workshop participant, please get in touch with Michelle Park at michellepark@ryerson.ca

Our Partners

We are excited to be working with five incredible partners across Canada to deliver this project. Our partners are hosting two part workshops throughout May and June. We are working together to create an interactive experience where participants will be able to test their assumptions, refine their ideas, and identify the critical next steps needed to enable their solutions. Thank you to our partners!

Our Funder

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre, a pan-Canadian initiative, connecting ideas and innovations generated across Canada so that employees and employers can succeed in the labour market, and to ensure that local, regional, and national economies thrive. Funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program, the Future Skills Centre is a partnership of Ryerson University, the Conference Board of Canada, and Blueprint.

Heather Russek
Collaborator, Innovation Design + Futures
Jessica Thornton
Collaborator
Michelle Park
Project Manager
Darren Elias
Collaborator
Diana Rivera
Senior Economist
Erin Warner
BII+E Alumni

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Deep Dive

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Jul 21, 2021

From virtual forest bathing to digital makerspaces — designing an effective virtual prototyping workshop takes creativity and flexibility. Here are the principles that guided us during the pandemic.
What we learned from pivoting to virtual prototyping workshops

Feb 11, 2021

A new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) explores the biggest trends driving Canada’s labour market in the decade
NEW RESEARCH: The 8 trends shaping the future of work in a post-COVID Canada

Feb 10, 2021

From wildfires to flooding, the effects of the global climate crisis are accelerating fast — as are attempts to kickstart the growth of the green economy
An illustration of 2 different climates, one with windmills to showcase new environmental tech

Feb 10, 2021

COVID-19 has stalled immigration and forced women from their jobs. Meanwhile, people are retiring later, living longer and having fewer children. What might it mean for Canada's labour market?
Hands tracking movement/progress on a line graph
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