Getting to 2030: A maintenance and sustainability strategy

Getting to 2030: A maintenance and sustainability strategy

After 18-months of work, our Employment in 2030 project is nearing its finale. Find out what we have planned next and what may become of this research going forward.
Diana Rivera
Alumni, Senior Economist
June 30, 2020
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As the name suggests, we are committed to ensuring that our Employment in 2030 findings are useful into the future. Along with our partners and other users of our research, we aim to determine which pieces of the project are most useful, which may have been less so, and what new goals could be added as part of further work.

Our plan for the current forecast + analysis

Maintaining access

We aim to ensure that our research remains accessible:

Maximizing policy + program impact

We aim to maximize the impact of this research through stakeholder outreach, partnership building, communication strategies, and extensions to this research. In particular: 

  • We will continue to offer briefings and tailored presentations to key stakeholders including municipal, provincial, and federal officials, in order to maximize their understanding of and ability to apply our research.
  • We welcome opportunities to collaborate with users interested in furthering or implementing our research.

Informing solutions

With the support of the Future Skills Centre (FSC), we will design, plan, and execute a series of six Action Labs across Canada. These Action Labs will build on our forecast and analysis by convening stakeholders from key sectors to identify and address regional and national skills-related challenges, as well as to explore opportunities to apply our forecast alongside other sources of information. The proposed labs would translate this forecast into action by guiding participants through prototyping solutions, and supporting their potential development, helping to ensure the Canadian workforce is equipped with the foundational skills and abilities they need for 2030. The Future Skills Centre is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

Conducting evaluations + gathering feedback

We aim to determine which project approaches and parts are most relevant for our partners, stakeholders, and users. To achieve this, we are gathering feedback from various sources such as:

  • Usage rates, including the number of observed uses of our data and analysis by stakeholders to supplement existing labour market information (LMI) or to inform policy or program design, interactions with the data and code on GitHub, report downloads, and data visualization users.
  • Survey results from partners, stakeholders, and users.
  • Feedback on our research and methodology from discussions with funders, government, and other stakeholder groups.
  • Feedback from partners and participants of both our expert workshops and our upcoming Action Labs, including the Future Skills Centre.


Potential future iterations

We believe that this research will remain useful, especially if developed as a data set that enables comparison across time. We plan to work with partners and funders such as the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC), ESDC, Statistics Canada, the Future Skills Centre, and others to assess potential approaches to refining and repeating this forecast in future. With their input, we will continue to test our thinking on the questions below. 

Should there be future iterations?

Current stakeholder feedback indicates that this project provides unique value through a rigorously-generated occupational employment forecast that is complementary to existing ones such as the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS). This feedback suggests that our incorporation of skills composition, consideration of potentially disruptive trends, and expert judgement are all factors that are lacking in other forecasts. 

How often should this study be repeated?

This study could be scheduled to work with data promptly after it is published  every two or five years, in order to include the most recent employment numbers (COPS is released every two years and the Census every five). 

Who could repeat this study?

The Brookfield Institute would be open to conducting this study in future years. We could also  offer support in a partner or advisor role to another interested organization that shares a mandate to improve labour market information, such as the Labour Market Information Council, Future Skills Centre, ESDC or Statistics Canada.

What changes are needed for a future iteration of the project? 

Future iterations could leverage new data and the lessons we learned throughout the project:

Phase 1: Trends research 
  • A new iteration of this project will require the foresight research on labour market trends to be updated in order to best inform workshop participants and stakeholders. Our horizon scanning approach remains appropriate in this phase.
  • Future iterations should consider the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
Phase 2: Workshops
  • All workshop materials would need to be updated, including the foresight game, with the most recent data available and the updated trends. 
  • Our workshop participants were often based in each workshop’s host city (Calgary, Toronto, Whitehorse, Vancouver, Montreal, and St. John’s). We would suggest hosting more workshops in each region to encourage participants from other areas to get involved, or conducting more outreach while continuing to provide support for participants from the surrounding regions to attend.
  • Future workshops could build on the existing participant profile and networks to engage more diverse groups of participants, including from outside urban areas.
Phase 3: Modelling + Data
  • Our skills analysis is driven by US data adapted to fit the Canadian context, yet differences are undoubtedly present. As efforts go forward in creating a Canadian skill taxonomy that is linked to National Occupational Classification codes, future iterations of this study should use it, as it will reflect national needs and realities more accurately. 
  • The timing of this project resulted in the usage of older data (i.e. the 2016 COPS and Census of Population). Timing future iterations to align with data releases would make the forecast more reflective of current realities and may be more useful for users.
  • Our demographic analysis is restricted to sex assigned at birth due to the available data. However, the questionnaire of the upcoming census includes questions on both sex and gender, which will add an important facet to future demographic analyses.
  • The Census of Population captures limited and incomplete data on Indigenous peoples. While Indigenous groups are increasingly participating in the collection of Census responses, a partnership with organizations leading the collection of labour market data in Indigenous and First Nation communities, such as the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC), would better inform demographic analysis and yield more reliable conclusions. 

Next steps

We will continue to engage our partners and users to determine the best way to expand the impact and reach of Employment in 2030. In the meantime, we look forward to developing collaborative solutions to present and future skill challenges in our forthcoming Action Labs.

Interested in collaborating with us or taking part in a briefing? Get in touch with Diana Rivera via


For media enquiries, please contact Nina Rafeek Dow, Marketing + Communications Specialist at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship.