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Future Skills Centre calls for $15M proposals to support workers

Seed ideas could receive up to $25,000, large scale with potential for exceptional impact could get up to $2.5 million.

May 28, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO — As the next step in its pandemic response plan, Future Skills Centre (FSC), a research and funding organization, has announced a new $15-million call for proposals for labour market innovations to build resiliency in the face of social and economic shock.

Various sectors including hospitality, health care and technology are facing significant demand for workers with new skills. This call looks at all industries with challenges to mitigate, and also looks for new opportunities that can be further leveraged, accelerating skills training to help many navigate an evolving job market.

“Skills development is an essential component of a strategy for post-pandemic recovery and building a better future for millions of Canadian workers,” said Pedro Barata, executive director of the Future Skills Centre, in a prepared statement. “We are accelerating investments in groups, sectors, and regions where challenges are deepest and opportunities are emerging so we can support people now while learning lessons that can be scaled for future success.”

FSC is seeking proposals for activities such as research, network development and innovation pilots that target sectors, regions, and populations facing pressing needs and recognize emerging opportunities that examine new insights and models across three levels of the skills ecosystem:

  • Support for individuals: to help inform training and career paths for workers, especially those who face barriers based on geography, background or experience
  • Support for organizations: to adopt new technologies and expand the understanding of a new health and safety environment, policy development and program delivery for large and small businesses, government, educational institutions and service delivery organizations.
  • Systems change: to promote innovative approaches to policy and program development and re-engineering of processes in large and small businesses, government, educational institutions, or service delivery organizations.

Proposals for the Shock-Proofing the Future of Work: Skills Innovation Challenge will prioritize sectors, regions, and populations where disruption will be most pressing. Early or seed ideas could receive up to $25,000 investments, while large scale approaches with potential for exceptional impact could be funded up to $2.5 million, with potential for further scaling.

Interested individuals, organizations, or consortiums from across Canada are invited to review the Guidelines and Application Instructions, which outline the application process.

Proposals will be accepted and reviewed on a continuous intake basis starting May 26 through to at least September 1.


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