Future Skills Centre Kicks Off Cross-Canada Regional Sounding Tour in Newfoundland and Labrador  

Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, will be on-hand with local stakeholders to discuss Newfoundland and Labrador’s skills and training needs. This is the first stop in a series of listening exercises that will help inform the Centre’s priorities.


St. John’s, NL, October 30, 2019 – The Future Skills Centre kicks off its cross-Canada Regional Sounding Tour today in St. John’s, NL. Designed as a strategic listening exercise, the tour will provide a venue for stakeholders to share their challenges related to skills, how skills fit into their strategic priorities, and how the Future Skills Centre can be responsive to regionally diverse challenges.

The Future Skills Centre is focused on intentional and engaging solutions to anticipate the emerging needs of employers, as well as the needs of those not currently participating fully in Canada’s changing workforce. The Regional Sounding Tour is organized by The Conference Board of Canada, a consortium partner of the Future Skills Centre.

“We are thrilled to be in St John’s today, and thankful for the diverse stakeholders that are with us to share their opinions,” says Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre. “We want to make sure that we are truly a pan-Canadian organization that addresses the regional differences in labour market challenges. This Tour is a good way to start listening and learning directly from the local communities.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC) and the Business/Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) are joining The Conference Board of Canada for the St. John’s event as convening partners. Sharon McLennon, NLWIC Director, and Valerie Walker, BHER Executive Director, will join Barata for this event.

NLWIC will also be a convening partner of the second stop for the Regional Sounding Tour in the Humber Valley on October 31. The information shared at the NL events will also help inform NLWIC’s priorities, as well as opportunities for collaboration and partnership.

The Regional Sounding Tour will continue through fall 2019 and winter 2020 with stops in each of the provinces and territories. New stops are announced regularly, visit this webpage to learn more and to register for these free events.



“As a consortium partner of the Future Skills Centre and the lead facilitator of the Regional Sounding Tour, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring together such a diverse group of skills stakeholders in St. John’s and across Canada. The future of our country’s workforce and skills are integral to our prosperity, and we are committed to collaborative efforts to identify innovative and effective solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s employment and training challenges.”

Susan Black, CEO and President, The Conference Board of Canada


“Building bridges, fostering collaboration, and engaging with communities across the country is critical to BHER’s mandate of bringing together business and post-secondary sectors to increase opportunities for young Canadians. The Regional Sounding Tour is an example of a key opportunity to deepen our knowledge of the skills challenges in various jurisdictions across Canada. This local engagement allows us to be responsive and effective as we build cutting-edge solutions for work-integrated learning. We are delighted to join The Conference Board of Canada, the Future Skills Centre, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Workforce Innovation Centre to put on this important event that is integral to moving the conversation forward on the future of work and skills.”

Valerie Walker, Executive Director, Business/Higher Education Roundtable


“Skills are the new currency, the keys to decent, meaningful and satisfying employment and self-employment, and when they are the right skills at the right time in the right place, skills are the engine of sector and economic growth and prosperity. We welcome Pedro Barata, as he kicks-off the first FSC Regional Sounding Tour event in St. John’s, and the organizations who assisted us in organizing these two kick-off events in the province. The information shared at the NL events will also help inform NLWIC’s priorities, as well as opportunities for collaboration and partnership with the Future Skills Centre and other partners.”

Sharon McLennon, Director, NL Workforce Innovation Centre


About the Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead.


About The Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is Canada’s largest independent not-for-profit applied research organization. We equip leaders and decision-makers with the economic insights, research, data, networks, and events they need to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. We stand at the intersection of research, policy and business – where insights meet impact.


About the Business/Higher Education Roundtable

The Business / Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization bringing together some of Canada’s largest companies and leading post-secondary institutions. Since 2015, BHER has worked to harness the strengths of Canada’s business and post-secondary education sectors to build opportunities for young Canadians, boost innovation and drive collaboration.


About the NL Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC)

The NL Workforce Innovation Centre (NLWIC), administered by College of the North Atlantic, has a provincial mandate to provide a co-ordinated, central point of access to engage all labour market stakeholders about challenges, opportunities and best practices in workforce development. The Centre’s goal is to promote and support the research, testing and sharing of ideas and models of innovation in workforce development that will positively impact employability, employment, and entrepreneurship within the province’s labour market and particularly under-represented groups. Funding is provided by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour (AESL) under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement.



Media contacts:

Jeffrey Keeping

NL Workforce Innovation Centre



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Eglantine Ronfard

Future Skills Centre