New technologies impact how we work, and hold the potential to deliver transformational shifts in our societies. While these shifts present challenges, they also present incredible opportunities for both emerging and traditional labour sectors.
That is why Canada is making smart investments today to build a forward-looking economy for future generations. This also means taking steps to ensure that all Canadians have access to the training and education they need to lead our rapidly changing global economy.
Beyond our borders, Canada is also working with its G7 partners to create new and sustainable sources of economic growth that will create good, well paying jobs. Now is the time for the G7 to drive global innovation, attract increased investment, and grow successful companies. We have a responsibility to ensure that opportunities created by the global economy are available to all citizens and that the benefits are shared by everyone.
Changing economies and workforce
In Canada, like all over the world, much of the economic and labour force growth we experienced over the last many decades is because of women entering into – and changing – the workforce. To unlock the greatest economic benefit, the path forward must include a strong focus on women and groups that are currently underrepresented in the labour market.
At the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, leaders resolved to ensure that all workers have access to the skills and education they need to adapt and prosper, including by expanding training and education, particularly for girls and women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Further, leaders endorsed the Charlevoix Common Vision for the Future of Artificial Intelligence to drive economic growth and help address some of the most pressing global challenges.
A meeting of the G7 ministers of employment and innovation was held in Montréal on March 27 and 28, 2018, to discuss how to best prepare for the jobs of the future. Ministers explored how the changing economy is impacting industries and workers and how we can support all citizens to adapt and thrive in the new world of work. Members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency also participated in the meetings, offering important perspectives on how G7 countries can move toward achieving gender equality. During the meeting, the ministers agreed to:
- Continue advancing adaptive and transformative technologies
- Convene a multi-stakeholder conference on artificial intelligence hosted by Canada in Fall 2018
- Create a G7 Employment Task Force to undertake targeted research and analysis, and make recommendations on priority issues for G7 countries on preparing for jobs of the future
- Launch the G7 Future of Work Forum, a digital tool that will support the work of the G7 Employment Task Force and enable member states to share information on policies, programs and ideas
- Promote domestic and international tools to address violence and harassment in the workplace through the development of international standards under the International Labour Organization’s leadership.
To achieve the greatest economic benefit, ministers have also decided that policies and initiatives must include a strong focus on empowering women and removing the barriers they continue to face in the workplace.
In addition, Canada will host a conference with domestic partners on preparing for jobs of the future and encourage other G7 countries to engage their domestic partners in similar discussions.
Together, with our G7 partners, we need to act now to prepare our companies and people so that they can take advantage of the new, exciting opportunities of tomorrow. Our efforts will help develop the robust approaches we need to support our citizens and build an economy that works for everyone.