University of Toronto hosts Palette Skills as they build a national ecosystem for upskilling

April 27, 2023 by A&S News

Building on a shared commitment to developing a workforce that meets the needs of a changing Canadian economy, the University of Toronto is the host institution for Palette Skills, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping Canada’s most innovative companies meet their talent needs by accessing untapped talent through industry-led rapid upskilling programs.

As host institution, U of T is leading the post-secondary community to demonstrate the importance of creating a national ecosystem for upskilling. The partnership will see U of T engage in collaboration around developing upskilling program models and knowledge transfer, aligning with U of T’s mission of teaching and advancement of knowledge.

“The University of Toronto is proud to be the national host institution for Palette Skills,” said President Meric Gertler. “Technological advancements are rapidly creating new employment opportunities, with major implications for all parties involved in shaping Canada’s workforce. We support the mission of Palette Skills to develop a national ecosystem to foster upskilling, and to establish new partnerships and talent pipelines that meet labour market needs.”

U of T will host Palette Skills in a space provided by the Faculty of Arts & Science.

“The collaboration will facilitate connections with industry leaders and other institutions in the development of the tools, training and support needed to make a direct and lasting impact on the Canadian economy, further improving the lives of Canadians,” said Melanie Woodin, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science and a member of the Palette Skills board of directors. “The development of powerful new insights will help identify the best ways to adapt to changing economies and will demonstrate the importance of rapid upskilling that serves the needs of every Canadian and of the country.”

Recently, Palette Skills launched Upskill Canada, a new initiative to help the country make the most of its talent advantage while building a more inclusive economy in the process. Upskill Canada is a national talent platform that helps fast-growing companies access the talent they need to compete and succeed globally while creating new career pathways for workers to rapidly transition into high-demand roles.

“We are excited to continue working with the University of Toronto,” said Rhonda Barnet, CEO of Palette Skills. “Our collaboration with the University of Toronto, and the broader post-secondary community, is invaluable. Sharing lessons learned and best practices on upskilling approaches, employer engagement, equity, and diversity and inclusion (EDI) best practices helps unlock our talent advantage and ensures that Canadian industry can continue to compete and win in the global economy.”

Palette Skills will begin accepting proposals from postsecondary institutes, industry and business associations and community organizations for launch-ready upskilling programs through its Upskill Canada initiative on April 28, 2023. University of Toronto units interested in becoming a program delivery partner should contact the Office of the Vice-Provost, Academic Programs, which is coordinating submissions.