Advancing a Workforce Development Agenda for Toronto

Date(s) - 21 Oct 2021
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM




Over recent years there has been a widening recognition of disturbing long-term trends in our labour market, such as the growing spread of precarious work, the rise of the gig economy, the increase in working poverty and income inequality, and the threats posed by automation and artificial intelligence. The impact of these trends has been disproportionately felt by marginalized populations and those working in lower-skilled occupations, such as women, youth, racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples and immigrants.

With COVID-19 impacts projected to have lasting effects on the economy and provincial government plans to transform employment services in Ontario, it is essential that any plans to improve employment outcomes in Toronto consider more effective engagement with employers, better coordination of the current workforce development landscape and greater emphasis on individuals who are further removed from the labour market.

On October 21, 2021, we hosted a webinar to discuss the ICE commissioned research report about these issues, “Advancing a Workforce Development Agenda for Toronto.”  The Research Report was written by Tom Zizys and is available here.

The event was moderated by Christine Carrasco, ICE Committee Member and Manager Workforce Development with the City of Toronto. Tom Zizys provided an overview of the research followed by reflections and comments from Adriana Beemans, Inclusive Local Economies Program Director at the Metcalf Foundation and a Q&A period. 


The webcast can be downloaded here.

Tom Zizys’ presentation slides also can be downloaded:   ICE presentation 211021


 Tom Zizys is a Toronto-based consultant who has worked in the public and non-profit sectors for over 25 years. For the last 15 years, he has specialized in labour market issues, undertaking labour market data analyses, designing training and employment projects, and providing broader commentary on labour market trends and policy frameworks relating to employment and workforce development programs.

Adriana Beemans is the Inclusive Local Economies Program Director at the Metcalf Foundation where she is focused on creating sustainable economic opportunities for low income people in Toronto. As a grant-maker, Adriana works closely with community partners to advance labour-market strategies to reduce poverty, innovative approaches for community wealth, and community organizing for structural change



ICE Committee