NLWIC Presents: Shock Proofing the Future of Work: A Call for Proposals Webinar

On June 29th, 2020 the NL Workforce Innovation Centre launched its webinar series “Tip of the Iceberg” and hosted the Future Skills Centre Executive Director Pedro Barata as he presented on the Centre’s May 2020 Call for Proposals – Shock Proofing the Future of Work. To download and view the presentation made by Pedro, click here.


#Tipoftheiceberg Webinar Q & A

June 29, 2020


Questions marked in RED were not answered during the webinar.

I think that your characterisation (as I heard it) of the economy just ticking along wonderfully and  then all of a sudden COVID-19 hits and creates this big crisis with a whole new set of unexpected needs is unhelpful. From Nova Scotia, the broad consensus is that COVID has simply exposed the underlying weaknesses of the economy and that more “systemic” changes are needed. Thoughts?

Over the years I have benefited from EI retraining and other programs such as student grants/loans and student business loans. How can we help “gig economy” workers develop resilience by providing incremental education for skills development?

We currently have funding from NL WIC (thank you) and want to apply to Future Skills to leverage that work with more and different skills development and to offer and partner nationally.  How will that be perceived?  Will we still be eligible for funding?

A: The funding that is granted through the NL WIC is considered a separate envelope from the current Shock Proofing the Future  Call for Proposals that the FSC currently has open until September 1st, 2020.  If applying organizations continue to unearth learnings, insights and innovation coming out of their programs, there is ability to secure new funding, provided that the group of independent reviewers deem the proposal to meet the selection criteria found in the application guidelines.  

Pedro – in NL our Government has identified the community sector as an “industry sector”. This sector is a major employer in NL with substantial potential growth. There have been significant job losses in the last few months  Can you discuss this?

I have routinely seen the list of marginalized populations that do not include “older adults”. Pedro, you mentioned the demographic shift that is upon us…that shift touches on and affects those who are 55 and older. They are doubly affected by COVID and ageism. I wonder why this very marginalized group isn’t mentioned. I saw Veterans included but what about the rest who need to work as a result of their lengthened lives? Thanks for your thoughts.

A: A part of FSC’s mission statement speaks to strengthening Canada’s skills development ecosystem so that Canadians can look to a future of meaningful and relevant lifelong learning opportunities. Traditionally this ecosystem has delivered skills through two avenues: education systems prior to workforce entry, and employment assistance for those in the workforce who encounter unemployment, which is inclusive of the older population you mentioned.

A part of current strategic plan – just in its finishing touches – highlights the need for responsive career pathways for workers at any point in the cycle of their working lives. We know that Canadians are indeed engaging in longer working lives, often in multiple careers, creating challenges and opportunities related to upskilling and continuous learning and we commit to keeping a pulse on this.