Canada’s job market continues to evolve at a rapid pace, creating new opportunities and challenges.
While hiring is down in Canada, growing companies still exist and need more skills-specific employees than ever to stay on course.
Currently, however, nearly half of Canadians lack the literacy and digital skills that are increasingly necessary to succeed in jobs in the knowledge economy, according to the government of Canada.
Now more than ever, it is critical that we expand and strengthen our workforce by equipping talent with skills and resources they need to thrive, the federal government said in a recent statement announcing investments in projects that will help Canadians improve foundational and transferable skills.
Even a gradual increase in literacy rates overtime is associated with an increase in the gross domestic product of Canada, according to the government, whose $300 million Skills for Success Program launched in 2021 is still helping Canadians acquire “vital skills”—60,000 so far, with a goal of 90,000 in total.
Randy Boissonnault, minister of employment and workforce development, announced this week $16.5 million in funding through the Skills for Success Program to nine organizations in Ontario that are helping to create more skills training opportunities and resources for Canadians.
“We are providing Canadian workers with every opportunity to get the skills and resources they need to succeed in today’s workforce,” stated Boissonnault. “Through major investments like this, we are ensuring that more Canadians break into the workforce and advance professionally in their careers, and that they do so with confidence.”
One funding recipient is WoodGreen Community Services, a non-profit organization that will receive $1.1 million for its project, titled “Enabling Employment and Broad Adoption of Skills for Success for Older Workers.” This project will provide adults in the Greater Toronto Area with training in key skill areas such as digital literacy, collaboration, creativity, communication, and problem solving.
The project, slated to run for 12 months, aims to deliver hybrid programs to more than 100 individuals.
“The generous investment of $1.17 million has helped enable employment and broad adoption of skills for jobseekers who are 45 and older,” said Steve Vanderherberg, Vice President of Community Programs for WoodGreen. “Through Skills for Success . . . We have witnessed firsthand how clients have been able to improve their foundational and transferable skills using the Skills for Success Model to better prepare for, get and keep a job.”
Upskilling is an increasingly poplar term in tech as the unconventional approach to learning and training begins to make more sense in a rapidly changing environment.