Disruption in workforce caused by automation top of G7 ministers’ agenda
Innovation is changing how we live and work, bringing with it new opportunities and challenges for Canada and its Group of Seven (G7) partners. Helping Canadians prepare for the changing nature of work will ensure we can create the well-paying jobs of the future, continue to grow our economy, strengthen the middle class and help those working hard to join it. Today, G7 Employment and Innovation ministers concluded a two-day meeting on Preparing for Jobs of the Future, focused on how G7 countries can help workers get the skills, training and opportunities they need to succeed in a changing economy.
This meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, with participation by the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. As G7 countries met this week to discuss how they’re seizing the opportunity of a transforming economy to create the kind of growth that works for everybody, Canada reiterated gender equality as a key component of a strong economy and progressive society. Members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency also participated in the meetings, offering important perspectives on how G7 countries can move toward achieving gender equality.
During their meetings, G7 Employment and Innovation ministers agreed on the following:
- a statement on stimulating innovation where G7 countries agreed that governments take an active leadership role in preparing companies to be part of the digital economy and to create well-paying, middle class jobs;
- a G7 Statement on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to continue advancing towards a common vision for this transformative technology;
- to convene a multi-stakeholder conference on AI hosted by Canada in the fall 2018;
- to proceed with a time-limited G7 Employment Task Force to undertake targeted research and analysis, and make recommendations on priority issues for G7 countries on preparing for jobs of the future;
- to launch the G7 Future of Work Forum, a digital tool that will support the work of the G7 Employment Task Force and enable Member States to share information on policies, programs and ideas; and
- to promote domestic and international tools to address violence and harassment in the workplace through the development of international standards under the International Labour Organization’s leadership.
To further support the work undertaken during its 2018 G7 Presidency, Canada will facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration on AI. In addition, Canada will host a conference with domestic partners on preparing for jobs of the future and encourage other G7 countries to engage their domestic partners in similar discussions. As part of Canada’s commitment to demonstrating leadership in helping young Canadians develop their skills and get meaningful, paid work experience, Minister Hajdu also announced today up to 500 new paid work placements for students in the artificial intelligence sector, with specific support for female students. Through partnerships with AI leading organizations like Canada’s Information and Communications Technology Council and its partnering companies, such as Corstem based here in Montreal, the Government of Canada will be giving more post-secondary students the chance to learn in a hands-on work environment. This will help them do better in the job market when they graduate, and gives employers access to a pool of talented young people who have the skills they’re looking for, straight out of school.