What to Address: Anticipated Problems of the Future in Job Markets and Employment

2 July 2024

This guide aims to help employers anticipate and address potential challenges in the labour market. It focuses on understanding and meeting the evolving needs of employees, aligning with market demands, and fostering a purpose-driven workplace.

1. Re-evaluating and Personalizing Employee Benefits

Understand the Gap: A 2022 Telus Health survey found an 83% discrepancy between the health benefits Canadian employees have and what they expect. This calls for a re-evaluation of benefit offerings.

Increase Communication: Enhance understanding of benefits through digital channels, education, and awareness.

Simplify Information: Make benefit information accessible and digestible.

Leverage Team Leaders: Use them to communicate the range of benefits and point to specific resources.

Evolve Benefits Continuously: Align your benefits plan with changing workforce needs and shift towards preventative health services.

Customize Offerings: Adopt a flexible approach to meet diverse employee needs.

2. Emphasizing Reskilling

Definition and Focus: Reskilling is about building on existing abilities and refocusing them on current labour market demands. It’s not just about basic skills but adapting to what’s in demand.

Prioritize Soft Skills: Future job markets will value emotional intelligence, critical thinking, creative problem solving, adaptability, resilience, and intercultural intelligence (ICI).

ICI is the ability to function in and navigate culturally diverse settings, which will be increasingly important in Canada where immigration is seen as one of the key solutions to addressing challenges stemming from an ageing population.

3. Addressing Systemic Barriers

Recognize the Real Issue: Labour shortages are often due to systemic barriers that prevent underrepresented groups from entering the workforce.

Align Education with Market Needs: The education system should be integrated with labour market needs to address skill gaps and mismatches.

4. Fostering a Purpose-Driven Work Environment

Understand the Purpose Hierarchy Gap: McKinsey found that 70% of employees define their sense of purpose through work, but there’s a disparity in how different employee groups feel supported in living their purpose.

Empower All Employee Levels: Ensure that opportunities for purposeful work are available across all levels, not just upper management.

5. Anticipating Future Training and Learning Needs

Prepare for Future Learning Systems: Current training and learning systems might not meet the needs of the 21st century by 2026.

Within the next decade, education systems will not be up to the task of adapting to train or retrain individuals for the most prized skills in the future, including the rise of self directed learning.

Focus on self-directed learning and practical, experiential learning through apprenticeships and mentoring.

6. Addressing Employment Regime and Integration Issues

Align Employment Practices: Employment regimes should align with where employees are in their life stages.

Improve Immigrant Integration: Address failures in immigrant integration to prevent de-skilling.

Remove Barriers for Traditionally Excluded Groups: Focus on removing barriers to entry for groups traditionally excluded from labour markets.

Connect with Social Support Systems: Enhance connections with systems like childcare, healthcare, and eldercare to address barriers faced by specific groups, such as women’s labour force participation.

Employers need to be proactive in anticipating and addressing future labour market challenges. This involves re-evaluating benefits, focusing on reskilling, addressing systemic barriers, fostering a purpose-driven work environment, preparing for future training needs, and aligning employment practices with employee life stages. By doing so, employers can create a more inclusive, adaptable, and forward-thinking workforce.


  • TWIG

    Toronto Workforce Innovation Group is a non-profit and independent research organization devoted to finding and promoting solutions to employment-related problems in the Toronto Region.

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What to Address: Anticipated Problems of the Future in Job Markets and Employment
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