Roundtable Series: Powering a Strong Economic Recovery
The pandemic has dramatically accelerated a transition that was already underway in Canada’s labour market, driven by rapid technological advancement, the rise of the gig economy and ongoing demographic shifts. The world of work is changing and millions of lower-skilled workers are at risk of being left behind as a result of automation and digitization. Adding to the challenge is the fact that those most in need of skills training are often the least able to access it.
Building an agile and resilient workforce will require continued investments by Canadian businesses in employee learning and development, and strong partnerships with governments and post-secondary institutions. At a time when labour shortages are a fact of life in some sectors, the private sector has an opportunity to take a more active role in reskilling and upskilling displaced workers.
This roundtable will look at new and innovative approaches to skills development both in Canada and abroad.
The Business Council’s recent report, Powering a Strong Recovery: An Economic Growth Plan for Canada, indicates that “more than 90 per cent of the value of the S&P 500 stock market index now resides in…intangible assets. Canada’s traditional economic policy toolkit requires updating if we hope to cultivate innovative domestic firms that can compete globally in this new era.” Key to this update is the protection and leveraging of intangible assets, particularly intellectual property. Owning ideas and intellectual capital will be key to Canada’s competitiveness going forward.
This roundtable will investigate the opportunities and challenges Canada faces in developing a coherent IP strategy that supports sustained growth and innovation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decline in women’s labour force participation. According to a recent RBC study, “two key cohorts are exiting the labour force faster: women aged 20-24 and 35-39". The exodus can be attributed in part to women taking on a greater share of caregiving responsibilities as a result of school closures, responsibilities for elderly or infirm relatives, and worries over daycare quality and accessibility.
The federal government, in its recent throne speech and the 2020 fall economic statement, promised to build a national, universal and high-quality childcare system modelled on Quebec’s publicly subsidized system. Advocates say that high-quality, accessible childcare is key to ensuring higher levels of labour force participation among women, which in turn can create a long-term competitive advantage for Canada.
This panel will discuss the importance of high-quality childcare as a cornerstone of economic growth. Panelists will explore different childcare models and reflect on how the federal government could play a much more active role in this area even though, constitutionally, child care falls under provincial/territorial jurisdiction.