Future Skills to Enhance University Graduate Transitions to Employment

by Sandra

With funding from the Future Skills Centre, The/La Collaborative conducted research that led to the publication of a report on Leveraging the Skills of SSH to bridge the skills gap and organised a series of consultations, the first of which could still take place in Ottawa a few days before the pandemic measures forced a lock down that led to the cancellation of the planned meetings in Toronto and Montreal.

University-based programs in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) are increasingly perceived to be in a privileged position to build individuals’ resilience for the future, fostering competencies that are associated with highly valued “foundational skills” (e.g. critical thinking, communications, social and emotional intelligence) and desirable outcomes such as innovation and leadership. However we lack sufficient evidence and adequate assessment frameworks to support these claims and to understand what else might make SSH distinctive.

What else do SSH stakeholders need to know to assess the capacity of current programming (curricular and co-curricular) and academic resources and expertise to demonstrate how they contribute to bridging the putative skills gap?  What is the distinctive position of SSH in building resilience and capacity within the knowledge and innovation eco-system?

The aim of the series of workshops was to convene representatives from postsecondary education stakeholder groups, to determine the current state of institutional knowledge on a set of key issues and to leverage stakeholders’ know-how, leadership and experience to identify the main knowledge gaps and strategic needs and develop consensus on research priorities.

Guiding questions:

  1. What are employers and government perceived needs when it comes to foundational competencies and talent-building.
  2. What are universities doing about foundational competencies and talent-building? Which models of professional development and experiential learning fit SSH best?
  3. What is the perceived capacity of individual SSH to contribute to foundational competencies and talent-building? What evidence is used to inform curriculum design?
  4. What role does foundational competencies and talent-building currently play in research training?
  5. 3 models for Radical Collaboration and Sharing to support program development: Distributed Networks, Communities of Practice, Creative Commons Licensing of Programming IP,

27 February 2020, 11:45-16:30 The workshop starts with an off-site working Lunch at Pure Kitchen. Discussion will continue at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences 200-141 Laurier West, Ottawa in the afternoon.

  1. Sosina Bezu, Senior Research Associate at the Future Skills Centre
  2. Katherine Bock, Project Manager for Program Design and Development at CIHR
  3. Liam Crapper, Policy Analyst at NSERC
  4. Lee Hamilton, Policy Analyst at Mitacs
  5. Gina Hill Birriel, Manager of Program and Policy at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
  6. Kamilla Karoli, Senior Adviser to Program Development at Mitacs
  7. Jeff Kinder, Director of Science Policy at the Institute on Governance
  8. Jonathan Malloy, Bell Chair in Canadian Parliamentary Democracy at Carleton University
  9. Sandra Lapointe, Director of The/La Collaborative
  10. Rhonda Moore, Practice Lead for Science and Innovation at the Institute on Governance
  11. Shawn McGuirk, Senior Policy Advisor at NSERC
  12. Peter Severinson, Manager of Innovation Policy at Mitacs
  13. Kori St-Cyr, Senior Adviser for Science Strategy at CIHR
  14. Uzma Urooj, Avisor for Science Strategy at CIHR
  15. Ian Wereley, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies
  16. Tim Wilson, Associate Vice-President or Research Programs at SSHRC