Explore the future of work at Homecoming 2022 webinar
Hear the latest from industry and Extended Education experts
The workplace is changing, and University of Manitoba alumni can learn more about it with insights from Extended Education’s Homecoming 2022 webinar on Sept. 21.
This free webinar will explore The Canadian Skills Agenda – What university alumni should know about the future of work with experts Rod Lastra (Acting Dean, Extended Education), Yvonne Kinley (Director of Talent and Workforce Development, Economic Development Winnipeg) and Paul Jenkins (Manager, Program Delivery, Extended Education). Registration is required.
For UM alumni, Lastra compares their undergraduate degree to a cake they have taken great care to bake. Adding upskilling, reskilling or cross-skilling short-cycle learning offered by university continuing education units like Extended Education is the icing on their cake, essential in creating a competitive advantage – helping them to stand out from the rest. “They need it to make a difference. Proof of additional skills or competency level within a given profession is changing. Employers are looking for something additional. This is where micro-learning in the form of micro-credentials is beginning to play a greater role.”
There are many opportunities in today’s workforce and there will also be opportunities in the workforce of tomorrow, says Lastra. “We are going to bring some understanding of current trends and challenges. The concept of the skills agenda is a bridge between higher education and the labour market. We are assessing the future of higher education and credentials including (shorter) micro-credentials, identifying the skills and pieces of knowledge required to meet the needs of the future of work.”
Extended Education is introducing its first micro-certificate, in Artificial Intelligence: Machine Learning in 2023 and continues to work with UM faculties and schools in order to engage with lifelong learning.
Findings and labour market insight
In the webinar, Lastra will briefly share findings from some of the related research he has been working on with the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE). CAUCE is a professional association of deans, directors, senior administrative personnel and practitioners whose professional careers are in university continuing education in Canada.
Next, Kinley will share her insights on the current labour market and what employers are looking for. She has an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the labour market and its needs and challenges when it comes to recruitment and retention. She also has significant experience working with UM on experiential learning.
And Jenkins, who has devoted his professional life to education and lifelong learning, will also share his thoughts.
The discussion will go from there.
“There are many important questions and considerations,” says Lastra. “Is there a skills gap? Do we have a shortage of labour, a shortage of skilled labour, or both? Where does the labour market need lie? For UM grads entering or re-entering the workforce, it’s important to understand what your formal education gives you, and how you may require continuing education.”
Facing rapid change
While the workforce has always been ever-changing, its latest rate of change has increased dramatically due to factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, and the impending recession, says Lastra. “Change that might have taken a decade previously has happened in two years. There is an urgency to understand. No workforce in recent history has been this challenged. But it is not all doom and gloom.”
We are in the midst of a digital revolution, he says. “We are moving away from what we have known. We need people but skilled people. They may not need new skills but rather proof of skills and knowledge they already have, in a credential. As our population ages, we find a shortage of working-age people and talented young people in Manitoba, so for UM alumni, there is much opportunity. There are many challenges, but there is also much opportunity.”