NEW RESEARCH: The 8 trends shaping the future of work in a post-COVID Canada

A new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) explores the biggest trends driving Canada’s labour market in the decade
February 11, 2021
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Shifting global power dynamics, the “shecession,” and the rapid adoption of remote work: Canada’s economy is reeling from a host of changes that have been accelerated, disrupted, or created by COVID-19. Yesterday’s Gone: Exploring possible futures of Canada’s labour market in a post-COVID world, a new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University, sets out to understand the breadth of potential changes ahead so that we can better prepare workers and employers for the future of Canada’s labour market.

Using strategic foresight research and interactive expert workshops,Yesterday’s Gone identifies and explores eight megatrends with the potential to impact employment in Canada by 2030. They include: Our Lives Online; Capitalism in Question; Technology to the Rescue; Climate in Crisis; Reconciliation and Inclusion; Finding Meaning and Well-being; Shifting Power and Evolving Population. In exploring these changes, businesses, governments, and policymakers will be better equipped to design skills-demand programs and policy responses. 

Key findings from the report:
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated pre-existing trends such as automation and digitization while forcing society to rethink many of our assumptions about how we work and learn, and our socioeconomic structures and systems.
  • COVID-19 has given rise to new trends, including a heightened prioritization of meaning and well-being in our work and lives. While some changes may be temporary, they could have longer term implications for the labour market.
  • Topics that may seem unrelated to Canada’s labour market, such as floods, air pollution, and responsible AI, all have the potential to impact the future of work.

Yesterday’s Gone is the first report from BII+E’s Employment in 2030: Action Labs project, funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre. Along with the Forecast of Canadian Occupational Growth, and other sources of labour market information, Yesterday’s Gone will inform the prototyping of potential new service offerings, interventions, or policies aimed at helping workers gain the skills and abilities they need to be resilient in the next decade. BIII+E will work with six partner organizations across Canada to host these prototyping sessions as well as a national showcase between March and May of 2021. 

For media requests, and to interview lead authors Heather Russek and Jessica Thornton, please contact Erin Warner at erin.warner@ryerson.ca, You can find the full report at brookfieldinstitute.ca.   

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) is an independent, nonpartisan policy institute, housed at Ryerson University. We transform bold ideas into real-world solutions designed to help Canada navigate the complex forces and astounding possibilities of the innovation economy. brookfieldinstitute.ca @brookfieldiie

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 44,600 students, including 2,600 master’s and PhD students, 3,100 faculty and staff, and nearly 185,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit ryerson.ca.

The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead. Visit fsc-ccf.ca/ @fsc_ccf_en

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