Urgent action needed to prepare workers for change: Report

Recommends modernizing labour laws, social safety net and rethinking universal basic income
By sd
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/20/2017
Economy, workforce
Canadian policy-makers and business leaders need to prepare Canadian workers now for the disruption that machine learning and artificial intelligence is having on our economy, says a report. Shutterstock

Canadian policy makers and business leaders to prepare Canadian workers now for the disruption that machine learning and artificial intelligence is having on our economy, according to a report released by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and Deloitte Canada.

The Intelligence Revolution: Future Proofing Canada's Workforce uses eight archetypes to illustrate what kinds of work Canadians will perform in the future, and what kinds of competencies they will need to do it.

It concludes that a national conversation on how jobs will change, and the capabilities needed to respond to that change, is needed urgently.

"We need to get down to the urgent work of assessing not just how work will change in Canada but how Canadian workers should prepare," said Scott Allinson, vicep-resident of public affairs at HRPA. "The changes we are seeing are nothing less than historic and governments and educators need to take a skills-first, not a job-first approach."

The report recommends governments and business:

  • modernize provincial labour laws and the social safety net to reflect the realities of the gig economy
  • rethink universal basic income
  • re-imagine how we organize our schools, from physical setup to the school year itself
  • empower Canadian workers to manage their careers and thrive in the new world of work.

"If we agree we are experiencing a so-called second industrial revolution, which is changing what a job means, affecting the work we do and how we do it, then we have to anticipate that amongst global jurisdictions there will be winners and losers," said Stephen Harrington, national lead of talent strategy at Deloitte in Canada and co-author of the report.

"It is critical that as a nation, as a business community, we understand the future of work and take action. Our recommendations are meant as a starting point – we need social innovation and real made-in-Canada solutions in order to lead and win in the future."

The report can be found here: www.intelligencerevolution.ca.

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