Canada’s Labour Market Information Council (2017) was established to improve the timeliness, reliability and accessibility of labour-market information to support students, workers and educational institutions. As well as conducting its own research and analyses, the Council produces data dashboards, bringing together information from different sources. In 2020, the OECD found that the Council has responded to a need for timely, local and granular data by prioritising collaboration with partners and stakeholders and identifying complementary approaches to data collection, including surveys, linking administrative data, and modelling methods (Hofer, Zhivkovikj and Smyth, 2020[6]).

These efforts are complemented by the work of the Future Skills Council (2018) and the Future Skills Centre (2018). The former brings together representatives from public, private, labour, Indigenous and not-for-profit organisations to provide advice on emerging skills and workforce trends. The Future Skills Centre works with partner organisations across the country to develop, test and evaluate innovative approaches to delivering skills training and assessment. Through this work, it aims to produce reliable evidence on what works for whom and under what conditions. Some 50% of funding is dedicated to supporting under-represented groups. The Centre has developed a five-step process to evaluate these innovations, making use of techniques such as rapid-cycle evaluation to support continuous improvement, and assessing potential for impact on a pan-Canadian scale. It funded 16 skills development projects in 2020, and published an Annual Evidence Report with key lessons. This will inform the future work of pilot projects, as well as the Future Skills Centre’s overall approach to generating evidence. The report points to a need for a diverse toolkit of evidence generation approaches to support projects at different stages of development (Blueprint, 2020[7]).

Further reading: Government of Canada (2021[8]), Future Skills, (accessed on 8 October 2021

In the province of British Columbia, the Community Workforce Response Grant provides funding for communities and industries to support training in areas with a high skills demand and to improve the employment prospects of unemployed or underemployed workers. Several funding streams have targeted workers, communities and industries affected by COVID-19. For example, the COVID Response: Workforce Shortages Stream (2021), provides funding to industry, sector and employer associations to support the training and upskilling of workers affected by the pandemic. Priority is given to projects that support workers in sectors that have been most affected and those from vulnerable groups. Applicants can use the funding to provide the following supports: essential, occupational, soft-skills, or apprenticeship training; employment assistance services, such as coaching and Indigenous cultural components; financial supports, including for childcare, accommodation, or personal protective equipment; and supports for people with disabilities. Participants must demonstrate that the training will lead to employment opportunities, for example, by including letters of support from employers or other stakeholders in their application.

Further reading: Work BC (2021[9]), Covid Response: Workforce Shortages Stream, (accessed 16 August 2021).


Blueprint (2020), Annual Evidence Report 2020, Blueprint, (accessed on 7 October 2021). [7]

Government of Canada (2021), Future Skills, (accessed on 8 October 2021). [8]

Hofer, A., A. Zhivkovikj and R. Smyth (2020), “The role of labour market information in guiding educational and occupational choices”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 229, OECD Publishing, Paris, [6]

OECD (2020), Learning remotely when schools close: How well are students and schools prepared? Insights from PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [2]

OECD (2020), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume II): Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris, [1]

OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [4]

OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means for Students’ Lives, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris, [5]

OECD (2019), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I): Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris, [3]

Work BC (2021), Covid Response: Workforce Shortages Stream, (accessed on 1 April 2020). [9]

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