Aiming to address a growing skills gap in Canada, the University of Guelph has launched a partnership with Palette Skills, a national non-profit group that trains non-traditional workers from disrupted industries.

As Canada works to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, U of G’s new partnership with Palette Skills and other academic and business organizations will help identify emerging talent gaps and develop strategies to help Canadian workers fill roles in growing industries.

“Partnership between academic institutions and leading Canadian organizations is critical to driving meaningful change,” said Dr. Charlotte Yates, U of G president and vice-chancellor.

“Through the labour shortage we are facing today, there is increasing responsibility on post-secondary institutions to both offer our university community the right mix of skills for the workplace and connect our communities with employment opportunities.

“We’re thrilled to work with Palette on this initiative and champion success for graduates of all skill sets, backgrounds and interests. We look forward to seeing the profound careers that students across Canada go on to achieve through these programs.”

Palette Inc., which is funded partly by the Government of Canada, aims to help organizations access untapped labour markets and train workers for career growth.

“Canada has an extremely talented and diverse workforce, but we lack accessible pathways to transition large sections of the Canadian workforce into careers in industries that emerge from the pandemic ready to grow and compete on a global scale,” said Arvind Gupta, chief executive officer of Palette Skills.

“This newly announced consortium of business and higher education partners ensures that we can effectively provide a broad cross-section of opportunities to Canadians.”

Besides Palette Skills, the founding members of this partnership include the Business Council of Canada, Council of Canadian Innovators, Business Council of British Columbia, Brookfield Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, University of Guelph, Université Laval, University of Saskatchewan and University of Toronto.