BCIT researchers receive $2-million in funding for Shock-proofing the Future of Work

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) has awarded the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) over $2-million for research projects that support in Shock-proofing the Future of Work. As part of the FSC pandemic response plan, this funding supports labour market innovations that build resilience in the face of social and economic shock.

The Future Skills Centre connects ideas and innovations generated across Canada to build a thriving economy that helps Canadians gain the skills they need to succeed in a changing labour market.

Virtual Learning in Canada’s Infrastructure Sector

Dr. Moein Manbachi
Dr Moein Manbachi
Dr. Hassan Farhangi
Dr Hassan Farhangi

Dr. Hassan Farhangi, Director, Smart Microgrid Applied Research Team (SMART), and Dr. Moein Manbachi, SMART Research Associate, were awarded $1,569,460 for their project Virtual Learning in Canada’s Infrastructure Sector.  This project aims to shift experiential learning to a virtual platform for those training to work on Canada’s critical utilities infrastructure. The onset of COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing has rendered such training programs difficult to offer, putting the security and safety of the nation’s utilities infrastructure at risk by depriving operators of a steady stream of trained people for this work.

Language Learning for Young Newcomers

Dr. Nathan Devos
Dr Nathan Devos

School of Computing and Academic Studies Faculty Dr. Nathan Devos’ project Language Learning for Young Newcomers was awarded $500,240. Through discipline-specific language supports, language assessment, and hands-on practical experience, this project seeks to provide post-admission support for English as Additional Language (EAL) students in diploma programs and share best practices for EAL students who are pursuing skilled jobs in BC and across the country.  This project will create innovative content and language integrated curricula, develop language assessment tools, as well as build relationships with industry sponsors to provide authentic job application and interviewing experience.

“This support from Future Skills Canada will enable our researchers to find solutions and share best practices that will benefit our entire country.  My congratulations to Dr. Farhangi, Dr. Manbachi, and Dr. Devos for their innovative ideas to support the growing need in navigating an evolving job market.” said Dr. Kim Dotto, Dean, Applied Research and Centre for Applied Research and Innovation.

According to Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, the two BCIT programs that focus on virtual learning and language learning are great examples of FSC’s investment in innovative approaches to training to build capacity and create an inclusive workforce that leaves no-one behind. The virtual platform to deliver experiential learning in Canada’s utilities infrastructure sector and the program to enhance English language skills among young newcomers and international students are both aimed at fostering innovation and addressing barriers to fill future skills gaps.

“These programs deliver the training and education support that people will need to adapt and thrive in Canada’s workforce. They are just two of the exciting shock-proofing projects that FSC is investing in to build a future playbook for shared prosperity, and help Canadian workers and businesses seize opportunities in our future economy,” explained Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre,

The Virtual Learning in Canada’s Infrastructure Sector and Language Learning for Young Newcomers projects are funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

View the Future Skills Centre press release about Shock-proofing the Future of Work.

About Future Skills Centre (FSC)

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to preparing Canadians for employment success. We believe Canadians should feel confident about the skills they have to succeed in a changing workforce. As a pan-Canadian community, we are collaborating to rigorously identify, test, measure, and share innovative approaches to assessing and developing the skills Canadians need to thrive in the days and years ahead. The Future Skills Centre was founded by a consortium whose members are Ryerson University, Blueprint ADE, and The Conference Board of Canada, and is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

About BCIT Applied Research

BCIT Applied Research creates innovative solutions to industry challenges and is critical to the growth and success of BC business. Applied research takes place throughout BCIT, from student-led projects to collaborative research programs involving faculty, students, and external partners. Applied research is integral to the Institute’s unique education model – enhancing the student experience through hands-on learning opportunities that solve real-world problems.

About BCIT School of Computing and Academic Studies

With a significant role in supporting high-tech businesses in BC, the BCIT School of Computing and Academic Studies offers over 250 courses and 40 programs – both full-time and part-time – in the areas of Computing, Academic Studies. BCIT Computing is the largest provincial provider of computing courses and applied diploma graduates – offering the most extensive part-time studies Computing programs in Western Canada. Academic Studies provides core courses in Basic Health Sciences, Chemistry, Communication, Liberal Studies, Math, and Physics across BCIT, as well as academic upgrading for entry into many BCIT technology programs and English language support. The BCIT Forensic Science and Technology program is the most comprehensive of its kind in Canada, offering courses in forensic science, forensic health science, crime and intelligence analysis, digital forensics and cybersecurity, and fraud and financial crime investigation.


Leave a comment