Where We’ve Been

Cannexus: National Career Development Conference 2018

Cannexus is Canada’s largest annual conference for career counsellors, career development professionals and the career services sector, this year held January 22 – 24, 2018 at the Shaw Centre. The Mental Health Commission of Canada invited EARN to share a booth, along with Causeway Work Centre and the YMCA/YWCA. Shannon Bruce and Lynn Raby attended. The conference provided an opportunity to network with service providers from across Canada, to learn, and to showcase EARN resources. The conference featured over 150 workshops with topics ranging from labour market information to career assessment tools. To find out more: http://cannexus.ca/about-cannexus/

In search of the next gig: A snapshot of precarious work in Canada Today

On Thursday, January 25th, Policy Options held a breakfast at the National Arts Centre with a panel of 3 speakers on the topic of precarious work in Canada. Francis Fong, Chartered Public Accountants focused on a definition of precarious work. Sunil Johal, University of Toronto Mowat Center spoke about the social policy implications of the rise in precarious work. Wendy Vuyk, Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation addressed how schools, parents and career counsellors can prepare youth for the jobs of the future. Jennifer Ditchburn, editor-in chief of Policy Options, was the moderator. Susan attended on behalf of EARN.

Here are some key learnings:

  • There is no definition of precarious work in Canada, currently it’s captured as temporary, casual, part-time and self-employment
  • Precarious work impacts younger and older workers, women, the more educated with sectors most at risk – information/IT, accommodation & food services & educational services
  • Change is coming fast – up to 50% of jobs could disappear due to the impact of technology and AI – but change is also unpredictable
  • Social programs to support workers effectively need to be re-designed to be flexible and individually-tailored (e.g. EI)
  • Developing competencies / soft skills such as effective communication and financial literacy, entrepreneurial and self-advocacy will most benefit youth in future careers
  • Implications for EARN: A career/ job coach is a valuable resource for those who face multiple barriers to employment such as job seekers with disabilities

Policy Options is the online magazine for the Institute for Research on Public Policy. To read more about precarious work: http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/january-2018/we-dont-know-the-extent-of-precarious-work/

Correction (November – December 2017 edition): Heather Scott is an employee of the Bank of Canada and Jennie St. Martin works for Hydro Ottawa.