Preparing for Disruption
The signs of change are everywhere. Automation, artificial intelligence and the Internet-of-Things are becoming commonplace across economic sectors, even in traditional fields like agriculture, forestry and resource extraction. At the same time, demographics are working against us, amplifying the requirement for strategic workforce development. Disruption, regardless of its source, calls for swift action to prepare Canadians with the skills they need to adapt to new realities.
While the changing nature of work often provokes fear about the shrinking role of people in the labour market, it is becoming clear that new jobs will be created and many more transformed. In fact, report after report on the future of work speaks to the skills that set humans apart, including dynamic problem-solving, teamwork and adaptability. The challenge is to develop the workforce we need today while empowering learners with the skills to succeed tomorrow. The future of work will rely on our capacity to make lifelong learning affordable, accessible and integrated with workplace culture. This has only become more urgent in light of employment disruptions caused by COVID-19.
In this environment, one thing is clear: Canada’s polytechnics are ideally positioned to lead the charge. Among Canada’s post-secondary institutions, polytechnics have proven themselves to be the most adaptable, agile and well-connected to industry. They deliver up-to-date and in-demand skills across sectors and to all age groups. They support hands-on, applied and technology-enabled classroom and workplace learning. Best of all, they have the unique ability to pivot quickly as the ground shifts.
Today, Canada’s 13 polytechnics deliver industry-aligned education and training to more than 376,000 learners annually, including nearly 32,000 apprentices and almost 99,000 international students.
Learn more about how polytechnics are preparing learners for the future by downloading Polytechnics & the Future of Work: Preparing Today’s Learners for Tomorrow’s Workforce.