News Release

For investments in skills development to pay off, we need an information system that links training opportunities to skills and jobs

January 6, 2021 Print

Montreal — The recent Fall Economic Statement made it clear that the government is committed to investing in skills development to help Canadians weather the post-pandemic recovery. But how can we know what training helps to get the in-demand jobs?

In a new paper published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Tony Bonen (Labour Market Information Council) and Matthias Oschinski (University of Toronto) show that we are in dire need of a comprehensive information system that clearly links the skills acquired through training and education programs to those sought in the job market.

This system should have the following interlocking components:

  • a database of training and education programs and providers;
  • a classification system of skills and other job requirements that reflects how job seekers and employers talk about skills; and
  • a way to link the training database to skills and other work requirements.

“Designing and implementing each of these components is a massive undertaking requiring collaboration between employers, training providers, and government agencies of all levels. But it will pay off in the long term and lead to actionable data on the training options available to workers, while linking those data to in-demand jobs.”

“A pan-Canadian approach is required to make sure that the increasing investments in training are helping all Canadians get the skills they need to find and keep good jobs,” note the authors.

Developing this information system would be a very complex and massive undertaking, but an important first step is to conduct a pilot project and generate practical insights into how to implement this comprehensive mapping of Canada’s training ecosystem.

Millions of individual Canadians and tens of thousands of businesses would benefit greatly from such a valuable service. But decisive action and cooperation among all stakeholders would be required to ensure the project’s success.

Mapping Canada’s Training Ecosystem: Much Needed and Long Overdue, by Tony Bonen and Matthias Oschinski, can be downloaded from the IRPP’s website (

The Institute for Research on Public Policy is an independent, national, bilingual, not-for-profit organization based in Montreal. To receive updates from the IRPP, please subscribe to our e‑mail list.

Media contact: Cléa Desjardins, tel. 514-245-2139

Mapping Canada’s Training Ecosystem: Much Needed and Long Overdue

Mapping Canada’s Training Ecosystem: Much Needed and Long Overdue


Media Contact

Cléa Desjardins
Communications Director
Tel. 514-245-2139 •