Canada steps up to meet the skilled labour needs of high-growth sectors 

News release

February 27, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario

A competitive workforce is key to ensuring Canada’s economic growth, but as global and domestic labour trends accelerate, gaps are appearing between the demands of industry and the skillset of available workers.

The Government of Canada is taking action to align the skills ecosystem with new industry demands. Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced a $250 million program will be launched to support short-cycle upskilling programs driven by industry needs in high-growth sectors.

This investment is expected to help more than 15,000 Canadian workers, including those from under-represented groups, transition into new jobs in high-growth sectors such as digital technology, cybersecurity, agriculture technology, advanced manufacturing, clean technology and biomanufacturing.

In partnership with Palette Skills Inc, this initiative will leverage a cross-Canada network to connect industry, employers, post-secondary institutions and private training providers to deliver upskilling programs. This short-cycle training will provide workers with the modern and adaptable skills that businesses need to succeed in a changing economy.


“Canada’s economic growth depends on a robust and adaptable workforce that can thrive in high-growth sectors. We want to make sure workers can gain the skills required to seize new opportunities, and we are putting employers at the forefront of the upskilling solution. This is a win-win situation benefiting both industry and Canadian workers.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Today’s commitment by the federal government is incredibly exciting for all of us at Palette Skills and for our partners across the country. Canada’s labour market is facing significant challenges, but we know that, through the expertise and experience of Palette Skills and our partners and through our mutual commitment to innovation, we will enable firms to meet their changing workforce needs and secure skilled talent. Equally important, we will ensure that workers across Canada have the opportunity to secure employment in high-growth sectors of the economy through increased access to industry-driven upskilling.”
– Janet Yale, Chair, Board of Directors, Palette Skills Inc.

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 announced $250 million for the Upskilling for Industry Initiative to support the development and implementation of short-cycle upskilling programs based on industry needs in high-growth sectors. 

  • Palette Skills was selected as a national delivery partner for the Upskilling for Industry Initiative following a merit-based call for applications that closed in May 2022. 

  • Palette Skills is a not-for-profit organization that develops employer-driven upskilling programs to help innovative companies meet their talent needs and transition high-potential workers into growing careers. 

Associated links


Laurie Bouchard
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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