Government of Canada takes action to ensure Canadian workers are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow

News release

New Future Skills Centre and Future Skills Council will identify priorities and create new opportunities for a stronger economy.

February 14, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada

New technology, artificial intelligence, and global competitiveness are changing the way Canadians work. Many of the skills needed for good quality jobs will change in the years to come. A Canadian workforce that incorporates new technology and adapts is key to Canada's long-term economic growth.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, along with the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, announced the Future Skills Centre and Future Skills Council. This is part of the Government's plan to ensure that all Canadians have the skills to find and keep good quality jobs and grow the middle class.

Ryerson University, the Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint were selected to partner and operate Canada's new Future Skills Centre. The Future Skills Centre will operate at arm's length from the Government of Canada to fund projects across Canada that develop, test and measure new approaches to skills assessment and development.

Fifteen members from Canada's public, private, labour and not-for-profit sectors were selected to form the Future Skills Council. The selection process was an open call that was merit-based and took into consideration regional, cultural and gender diversity. The Council will provide advice to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on emerging skills and workforce trends including national and regional priorities related to skills development for Canadians. The Council will be co-chaired by Valerie Walker, Executive Director of the Business/ Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) and Dr. Thierry Karsenti, Director of the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE).


"The world of work is changing and Canadians need to be equipped to seize the opportunities this presents. Future Skills is part of the Government's plan to build an agile workforce that can find and keep good, well-paying jobs, and strengthen the middle class so that everyone has a fair chance at success – today and tomorrow."

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"Canada's economy is growing and jobs are being created by Canadians every day, but the skills needed to succeed in those jobs can sometimes change rapidly. The Future Skills Centre and Council will work with schools, businesses and government to make sure Canadians can learn those skills, helping them stay competitive in tomorrow's job market."

- The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

"As Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education, Ryerson University is proud to lead the consortium for this important federal government initiative. With expertise in multidisciplinary, large-scale research and evaluation projects, Ryerson is a community builder that convenes academics, governments, non-profits, and industry to better understand and promote diversity, entrepreneurship, and employment. Ryerson is well-positioned to help prepare all Canadians for emerging opportunities today and beyond."

- Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-chancellor of Ryerson University

"Blueprint is delighted to be a partner in this ground-breaking initiative. Our expertise in skills development and extensive experience executing complex research and evaluation projects will allow us to confidently lead the FSC/CCF evidence generation strategy. Working together, we will build a culture of evidence-informed decision-making that will strengthen our skills development ecosystem and improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities across Canada."

- Karen Myers, President and CEO of Blueprint

"The Conference Board of Canada is pleased to be at the centre of this exciting and important federal initiative for  workforce development and the future of work.  We will be undertaking new research and convening initiatives with a keen focus on offering innovative ideas on what we can do as a Country  to keep pace with new technologies and the rapidly changing nature of work."

- Susan Black, President and CEO, The Conference Board of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $225 million over four years, and $75 million per year thereafter, in Future Skills.

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Media may contact:

Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter  #FutureSkills

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230

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