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Government of Canada Data Conference 2023: Data in context in the Skills and Employment Branch (DDN3-V10)


Senior Assistant Deputy Minister Andrew Brown speaks about the importance of data use at Employment and Social Development Canada.

Duration: 00:04:12
Published: February 15, 2023

Event: GC Data Conference 2023: About the conference

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Government of Canada Data Conference 2023: Data in context in the Skills and Employment Branch



Transcript: Government of Canada Data Conference 2023: Data in context in the Skills and Employment Branch

Hello and welcome to our second annual Data Week!  I am joining you today from the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnabeg people. I wish to extend my congratulations and thanks to the Chief Data Officer Ima Okonny for this year's events and for providing me with the opportunity to say a few words about the importance of data and the role it plays in helping us deliver better services and outcomes for all Canadians. 

Data is the driving force of the world's most modern economies. It fuels innovation in an increasingly digital and inter-connected world; It guides personal and business decisions on how to tailor products, skillsets and services to the demands of the market;  Data creates jobs, opens up new markets and drives demand for a highly skilled workforce; and, It's central to the delivery of vital public services and societal goals.

This year, ESDC's Data Week has the theme of "Data in Context". There are a number of initiatives in the Skills and Employment Branch that exemplify how we have prioritized the use of data in context, to ensure it's fit-for-purpose, client-centered, accessible, trusted and protected. Allow me to elaborate on some of these frameworks, systems and partnerships.

As a starting point, we have invested in foundational skills and labour market information frameworks and surveys to help capture and report on the evolution of our labour markets. The Skills for Success Framework and the Skills and Competencies Taxonomy provide a common language for Canadians to identify the transferable skills found in almost every job. The structural revisions to the National Occupational Classification (or NOC2021) outlines the training, education, and experience requirements of Canadian occupations, and underpin the collection of occupational statistics across government. In partnership with Statistics Canada, we have also commissioned the development of a new Survey of Employers on Workers' Skills that focuses on employer-defined skill gaps and strategies to address these gaps.

Secondly, we have invested in systems that facilitate data linking opportunities to help us generate new insights from various sources. Thirdly, in recognition that we cannot do this alone, we are investing in several key data-development and data-sharing partnerships that will strengthen the reach, quality and granularity of the data that we generate and disseminate to Canadians.  Sophisticated data collection approaches in place through partnerships with the provinces and territories as part of the labour market transfer agreements have helped us demonstrate the efficacy of our skills training investments over time, including: improved work attachment, earnings outcomes, and reduced dependence on government income support. The department also partners with organizations that are outside of government, to help curate and distribute data and information to Canadians.

In closing, I wanted to impress upon you the incredible opportunity we have before us to "do more with data." The Department has started harnessing innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and natural language processing to mine newer sources of data, such as online job posting information. As we move through Data Week, I hope that you use this opportunity to connect with and learn about data initiatives across the Department and in so doing, build the service-oriented data culture that is needed to improve the outcomes for all Canadians. Thank you.

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