Career pathways have become less predictable and today’s youth face significant challenges making sense of the ever-changing world of work. A recent McKinsey report forecasted that by the year 2030, from 75 to 275 million workers will need to change careers. For those just entering the workforce, understanding and navigating the labour market in more personalized, responsive and targeted ways will be essential. Artificial intelligence and big data are bringing disruption to the workforce, but they have also brought promising advancements in workforce innovation and HR technology. Sophisticated job matching, assessment and market analytics tools are increasingly accessible, but their adoption across the employment and training ecosystem remains inconsistent.
In 2019, OTEC, and a coalition of partners that includes First Work, MaRS Data Catalyst Centre and the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, began working with The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) to test an innovative, evidence-based, approach to skills development for the new economy. The initiative, known as Project Integrate, is testing the potential impact and feasibility of a single technology-enabled employment and training pathway for youth. Working with employment service provider networks across Canada, the project is conducting systems research and field testing with a range of promising employment-related technologies in each of the following three phases in the employment pathway: Engagement, Systems Navigation and Career Laddering. Job seeker, organizational and systems-level factors are being evaluated to determine the potential impact and implications of a single, user managed, employment pathway.