April 9, 2021Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University will join Communitech and other leading community partners on April 28 to share key learnings from over a year of participation in the Future of Work and Learning Coalition.
The coalition brings organizations from across sectors together to engage in exploring the question: how can we future-proof talent and the workplace?
The virtual Future of Work and Learning forum offers a chance for members of the public to hear from coalition project leaders from Laurier, Communitech, Deloitte, the University of Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo’s economic development team, Manulife and Vidyard. The leaders will reflect on goals, accomplishments and lessons learned 15 months after the launch of the Future of Work and Learning Coalition.
“Laurier is a founding member of this coalition and a champion of its work because we believe that in order to bring to life the futures that our communities deserve and need, we need to be prepared to adapt the way we work and learn to meet emerging trends head-on,” says Sheldon Pereira, a coalition member and chief of staff and director of strategic institutional initiatives at Laurier.
Laurier was one of the founding partners of the Future of Work and Learning Coalition, with representation from the university’s president’s office, human resources team and the Teaching and Learning department, including Continuing Education and Experiential Learning and Career Development.
A possible answer to how to future-proof talent and the workplace may lie in empowering the workforce by offering training in sought-after skills, says Lindsay Tayler, acting director of Continuing Education at Laurier. The university’s Continuing Education department partnered with Communitech on the Framework for Future Proofing Communities project to provide just-in-time training to employees in Waterloo Region in two of today’s most in-demand skill areas: communications and sales.
“Making learning available to people of all ages and stages will allow for our global workforce to be nimble and ready to adapt to the rapid changes we experience day to day,” says Tayler.
Through a combination of remote and practical learning led by Laurier instructors and industry practitioners, 40 mid-career employees developed their skills through the intensive six-week Framework for Future Proofing Communities project.
“A big component of the Future of Work and Learning Coalition is flexible learning options for all members of the workforce,” says Tayler. “Laurier is focused on delivering programming that targets people looking to up-skill and re-skill for job advancement and job attainment. We will continue to engage our community to understand its needs and how we as an academic institution can respond.”
Laurier Human Resources team members were involved in the coalition’s remote and hybrid working community of practice, sharing tools, resources and information about initiatives Laurier has implemented. Melanie Will, Laurier’s director of talent and organizational development, says working collaboratively with local organizations to share experiences, tools and resources has been valuable and provided reassurance that many organizations are navigating similar challenges.
Jan Basso, Laurier’s assistant vice-president of Experiential Learning and Career Development, served as a working group co-lead for the coalition’s work-integrated learning committee. Future-proofing students is top of mind for Basso, as her team engages students in career development through programs and services focused on experiential learning opportunities, career exploration and decision-making, the pursuit of further education, and searching for employment.
“The Future of Work and Learning Coalition has enabled us to expand our networks, learn from the expertise of others and be part of a significant community initiative,” says Basso.
Pereira will moderate a panel conversation during the April 28 forum. He says that Laurier is well positioned to play a leading role in supporting and nurturing the development of thriving communities that are prepared for the future.
“Laurier is able to lead in this space because of our people – our faculty, staff, students and alumni – who are willing to challenge the status quo, take risks, evolve, build on best practices and engage with communities and partners to explore opportunities for better futures,” says Pereira.
Visit the Future of Work and Learning forum registration site to reserve a virtual seat.
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