The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it an immeasurable loss of life, burnout and mental health crises, as well as disproportionate harms for women, racialized communities and the working poor. At its height, the pandemic instigated the worst week in TSX history, a higher than 9% unemployment rate, an estimated 630,000 net job losses in the Innovation Corridor, and a more than 10% drop in GDP, which led to the risk that one in five businesses would permanently close. The pandemic accelerated many of the pre-existing social, economic, demographic and technological trends that were already reshaping labour markets, both globally and in the Toronto Region.
Throughout this Workforce Development Strategy, we call upon a multitude of stakeholders to implement recommendations that narrow the skills gap, advance the skilled trades, and tap into the youth and immigrant talent pipelines.
These recommendations are applicable to government, employers, industry associations, post-secondary institutions and other education and training providers. We’ve also included several inward-facing recommendations and are committed to leveraging our unique position to guide a collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach to workforce development.