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Webinar Recap: Preparing for the Future of Work

Wednesday | September 11, 2019 | by Alyona Kalachova

jobs of the future

How can we prepare today to do the jobs of the future? WES recently hosted a webinar with a panel of experts to explore the answer. Steven Tobin, executive director of the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC); and Evelyn Akselrod, director of strategic development at the Career Foundation, provided insights into how immigrants can prepare for employment in the future.

Digital technology, automation, artificial intelligence, and globalization are reshaping the labour market and the way we work. We are witnessing shifts in a more condensed time frame than ever before. According to a report from RBC, “more than 25 percent of Canadian jobs will be heavily disrupted by technology in the coming decade.” The future of work involves shifts in the workplace, the workforce, and the nature of work itself.

This topic typically raises the following question: “Do we view changes to the way we work as an obstacle or an opportunity?” We need to see them as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

LMIC empowers job seekers and other Canadians with labour market information and insights to help them identify labour market needs. Labour market information is one of the best tools a job seeker can use to map out long-term career moves. LMIC’s blog offers plenty of information on the Canadian labour market and the workplace of the future.

LMIC identifies the aging population, technology, business innovation, climate change, and globalization as the five big factors shaping the future of work.

“Up to 50 percent of work activities or tasks are at risk. However, it is important to understand that education and skills are not the same thing. Education is important, but increased emphasis on abilities to undertake tasks is crucial,” Tobin notes.

Akselrod explains the difference between skills and competencies, saying, “Skills are specific, routine, task-oriented and are at risk of automation, when competencies are the combination of skills, knowledge, and ability needed to successfully perform tasks.” Competencies play a significant role in preparing job seekers for the workplace of the future.

She also emphasizes that in addition to a significant increase in technology-driven work, we need to consider that 85 percent of the jobs of the future have not been invented yet. A flexible mindset in the face of such rapid change will be invaluable. Those without a commitment to lifelong learning and skill development will be left behind. In the workplace of the future, employers will increasingly value transferable soft skills.

Related Reading

Identifying and Marketing Transferable Skills to Build Your Career

What kind of mindset and competencies will be needed in the future workplace?

  • Curiosity and lifelong learning
  • Adaptability, mental agility, and resilience
  • Digital fluency
  • Emotional intelligence and social perceptiveness
  • Critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity
  • Innovative, imaginative, human design-centered, and future-focused approaches

Akselrod also provides tips on how to adjust to these labour market shifts:

  • Stay informed.
  • Identify your skills gaps.
  • Take charge of your own learning.
  • See challenges as opportunities.
  • Be proactive and flexible.

Are you interested in learning more about the future of work and how to prepare for it? Watch the on-demand webinar, which includes a question and answer session after the panel discussion.

Related Reading

100 Tips for Immigrants

E-Guide: Professional Development Strategies

Alyona Kalachova

Alyona Kalachova is the marketing and communications associate at WES Global Talent Bridge Canada