There is a lot happening at Canada’s polytechnics. Our blog offers perspectives on the exciting work underway on campuses and in Ottawa. Do you have a polytechnic story to tell? Share it with us!

Applied research: Developing the next-generation workforce

The global talent race is heating up and countries that aren’t ensuring their best and brightest have skills for the next century will be left behind.  This race is largely driven by the changing nature of work and significant advances in technology, which are expected to impact businesses and social organizations in every sector of our country.  In my previous blogs, I highlighted how applied research drives innovation activity in Canadian businesses, and how applied research is tackling some of Canada’s most pressing social challenges.  In this third blog, I highlight a lesser known but no less critical role of applied research:  building the resilient workforce of tomorrow.

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Applied research: Leveraging innovation know-how to drive business performance

In a recent report jointly written by former advisers from both the Liberal and Conservative parties, two people who might have traditionally disagreed found common ground on the action necessary to Canada’s future prosperity.  In A New North Star, Sean Speer and Robert Asselin recognize that, among other things, global competitiveness will be essential to the long-term health of the country’s economy.

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Climate change: Pragmatic solutions to a global challenge

Canada’s politicians, scientists, Indigenous leaders and youth agree we are facing a climate crisis. While there isn’t a clear consensus on what to do about it or how quickly, this is one of those rare moments when a country as diverse as Canada can rally around an objective of truly national scope. It is a cop out to say there are bigger polluters elsewhere in the world – cleaning up at home is our first and best chance to address climate change.

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Four ingredients for excellence in skilled trades training

Canada’s workforce is facing two distinct pressure points – an aging workforce and the emergence of disruptive technology.  As new technologies become pervasive, the current workforce and recent graduates alike must develop new and in-demand skills to stay relevant in the labour market.  As the pace at which Canadians are retiring also increases, the talent pipeline must become more efficient, with qualified workers ready to fill looming vacancies.  While these issues are affecting the workforce broadly, the skilled trades are facing these dual challenges faster than most.

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Polytechnics here to help: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) – the software that drives Industry 4.0 – has both dramatically improved efficiency and produced a new set of challenges for governments, employers and individuals alike. For governments, there is a legal and regulatory framework to be developed – one that incents innovation but respects privacy and security. Employers need to grapple with the introduction of new technologies or the very real possibility of obsolescence. Individuals are navigating labour markets heavily impacted by emerging technologies, with implications for employment and the necessary skill requirements.

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Supporting Canada’s green economy through small business innovation: recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance

As they do every year, Ottawa’s Standing Committee on Finance is asking Canadians for their best ideas on how the federal government can use its purse to solve national challenges.  In recent years, the committee has focused on challenges related to productivity, competitiveness and inclusive growth.  This year, the federal government is on the hunt for ideas related to climate change and how it can stimulate Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

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