The latest Twitter war that saw the US lob insulting tweets at Canada and the G7 distracted many from the content of the Charlevoix communiqué. In reading the communiqué today, I found the following section:
Preparing for Jobs of the Future
8. We are resolved to ensure that all workers have access to the skills and education necessary to adapt and prosper in the new world of work brought by innovation through emerging technologies. We will promote innovation through a culture of lifelong learning among current and future generations of workers. We will expand market-driven training and education, particularly for girls and women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. We recognize the need to remove barriers to women’s leadership and equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of the labour market, including by eliminating violence, discrimination and harassment within and beyond the workplace. We will explore innovative new approaches to apprenticeship and vocational learning, as well as opportunities to engage employers and improve access to workplace training.
9. We highlight the importance of working towards making social protection more effective and efficient and creating quality work environments for workers, including those in non-standard forms of work. Expanding communication and collaboration between governments and businesses, social partners, educational institutions and other relevant stakeholders will be essential for preparing workers to adapt and thrive in the new world of work. To realize the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), we endorse the Charlevoix Common Vision for the Future of Artificial Intelligence. We recognize that a human-centric approach to AI has the potential to introduce new sources of economic growth, bring significant benefits to our societies and help address some of our most pressing challenges.
The commitment to ensuring that all workers have access to skills and education is a positive one as is the commitment to lifelong learning. I’m not so certain what “market-driven training and education” means. It could mean a responsive training and education system, or it could mean a ‘for-profit’ system.
Opportunities to engage employers and improve access to training have been at the heart of workplace education for the past 30 years here in Canada. One can only hope that G7 governments understand that workplace training and education must be built on a foundation of strong literacy and essential skills. Otherwise efforts will merely provide additional training to those who already have strong skills leaving many workers behind.
You can read the whole communiqué at: https://g7.gc.ca/en/official-documents/charlevoix-g7-summit-communique/