Event Details

Published on Wednesday, September 08, 2021

InSight: The Future of Work

Northeast BC’s Virtual Labour Market Forum

Event date: 11/4/2021 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM Export event

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The world of work is changing. Find out how global, provincial, and regional trends are influencing how we live and work in the north.

Northern Lights College led the update of the Northeast Regional Skills Training Plan with the recently completed Northeast Regional Labour Market Strategy and is hosting an event to create opportunities for dialogue and engagement around labour market trends that we are facing across all sectors in northern BC.

Whether you are choosing a new career, building your team, or launching a future entrepreneurial venture, InSight will inform your planning and position you to develop solutions for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  Join us for this half day event that will showcase the Northeast Regional Labour Market Strategy, State of the Agriculture Labour Trends and Needs in Northeast British Columbia and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Labour Market Study, framing these within the context of global and provincial trends.  Find out how others are already putting new ideas to work and preparing for the future of the labour market.


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Opening Remarks
Todd Bondaroff, Vice President, Student Services and Community Relations, Northern Lights College

Facing Our Futures
Nik Badminton, Chief Futurist and Think Tank Leader, Futurist

Nikolas Badminton will look at the pathways ahead on the megatrends that will shape our world and shape your business over the next 20+ years.  He will guide you through shifting your mindsets from WHAT IS to WHAT IF, look at global shifts (economic and population growth, global warming and the dynamics of the water-food-energy nexus), climate change, renewable energy and decarbonization, opportunities and challenges relating to data, sensors, artificial intelligence and other exponential technologies. He’ll focus on Northern BC, and its industrial profile, to talk about how these changes will impact local communities.

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist and Think Tank leader at Futurist.com, a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and the futurist that the world's most impactful companies turn to for big ideas, new thinking and opinion.

Nikolas has advised the world's most impactful companies, including NASA, Google, Microsoft, United Nations, United Way, Bank of Canada, Government of Canada, UK Home Office, Government of Cayman Islands, American Express, AT&T, Thales, Rolls Royce, Heineken, Procter & Gamble, IDEO, and many more.

His research and thinking has been featured by CTV, Global News, BBC, VICE, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Techcrunch, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, Sputnik and Venturebeat.

Nikolas’ thinking can be seen in the opening chapter for the new book ‘The Future Starts Now’. He’s also writing a new book that equips world leaders and executives with the tools to imagine new futures, see unforeseen risks and strengthen strategic planning.

Labour Market Opportunities in the Northeast Region in the Coming Decades
Christian Saint Cyr, Publisher, BC Labour Market Report, and Creator, Labour Market Online

As we enter into a generational skills shortage, the greatest challenge facing the companies, communities and government will be attracting and retaining the most skilled workforce possible. In this presentation, Christian Saint Cyr will provide insights into the skills shortage and local labour market, sharing a detailed analysis of the unique strengths and challenges faced by Northeast Region employers. He will explore the unparalleled opportunities individuals can enjoy and the tangible steps communities in the Northeast Region can take to build our workforce to compete and thrive in the new economy.

Over twenty years, Christian Saint Cyr has established himself as a leading labour market expert. As publisher of the BC Labour Market Report and the Ontario Labour Market Report, Christian advises thousands of career professionals throughout both provinces and across the country and regularly works with representatives of business, education and government. He’s delivered hundreds of workshops for more than 10,000 individuals on topics which include labour market information, employment standards, unconventional job search, yearly overviews of the labour market and workshops which have looked specifically at trends in the construction, technology, tourism and health care sectors.

As an established employment and labour market expert, Christian is often called upon to provide commentary on television, in print and on radio; including regular segments examining the labour market for CBC Radio, national broadcasts for CORUS Radio and broadcasts for AM640 Toronto, 900 CHML Hamilton, 980 CFPL London, the CBC’s BC Almanac and weekly segments called ‘Working on the West Coast’ on CKNW 980.

Yes, it’s Still Relevant: Why a 2019 Northeast Regional Workforce Strategy Matters Today
Ramona Materi, President, Ingenia Consulting

This session will help you develop a better understanding of the Northeast Regional Labour Market Strategy and why it matters today. The Strategy is designed to address the current and future workforce training needs of the Northeast. A year in the making, it builds on labour force data and the ideas and perspectives of individuals, organizations, and communities from throughout the Northeast. The session will first highlight key workforce demand and training issues emerging from the research. We’ll then take a closer look at the recommendations in the Strategy- most of which are still relevant in 2021—and explore potential next steps for implementing them. This presentation will be of particular interest to educators, business leaders, industry associations and individuals interested in building long-lasting careers in the Northeast region.

Ramona Materi is the President of Ingenia Consulting. An expert in labour market issues, she has been leading economic research projects across Canada and internationally since 1991.

Ingenia’s goal is to use facts on the ground to produce recommendations that make business sense.  Since 2011 Ingenia has collaborated with industry, communities, Indigenous peoples, and post-secondary institutions in British Columbia to develop six regional labour market strategies and workforce plans. Ingenia has also been producing leading-edge research on the impact of new technologies and automation on the workforce of the future, exploring the implications for workers, employers, and communities.

Ramona served on the board of VIA Rail Canada for seven years, enhancing her knowledge of strategic human resources issues at larger companies. She has written two business books, British Columbia’s New North, and Starting a Green Business in Canada. Ramona holds Masters degrees in public policy, environmental science and education.

Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Labour Market Study
Murray Slezak, Senior Operations Director, Impact Resolutions

The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Labour Market and Economic Strategy included collecting, consolidating and analysing demographic, economic, labour market, income, and housing data to provide recommendations to the Regional Municipality for strengthening its labour market vitality. The analysis incorporated forecasts of key economic and labour indicators over the next five years as well as Monte Carlo simulations to identify different ranges possible of forecasted outcomes and statistical techniques that determine the historical strength and nature of the relationships among the indicators. The IR team also assessed the labour demands and training requirements for current and planned projects in the NRRM as well as Indigenous community engagement of needs, concerns, and interests. It was found that the impacts of current and planned projects in the NRRM will create direct and indirect labour demand which will have beneficial spinoff effects for the local labour market and economy.

Murray is a result orientated leader in corporate social responsibility, impact management, contractor safety and supply chain management during his 40+ year career including 34 years at Shell Canada. Murray continues to share his knowledge and experiences as the Canadian resource extraction sectors evolve and respond to the concerns of Canadians. He has provided guidance and support on several Canadian and international projects. Murray is no stranger to northeast British Columbia as he has been working on several projects and contracts since 2008 for Shell and as a consultant. Murray has chaired industry and stakeholder committees during his career including the BC Natural Gas Labour Strategy, Northeast Regional Workforce Table and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Local Content Committee. Recently, Murray participated as a consultant on the Northeast Regional Labour Market Strategy and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Labour Market & Economic Strategy.

State of Agriculture Labour Market Trends and Needs in Northeast BC
Rob Malatest, President, Malatest and Associates

Between October 2020 and June 2021, Northern Lights College conducted a labour market information study on the agricultural sector in Northeast B.C. The purpose of this project was to understand the hiring and training needs of agricultural producers and related businesses in the region over the next ten years. R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd., the firm hired to conduct the primary and secondary research for this study, surveyed 44 agricultural businesses and conducted approximately 60 interviews with relevant businesses and stakeholders in the region.

Findings show that agriculture as a sector is growing faster in the Northeast than in the province overall. Estimates for annual job growth ranged from 3% annually (the base case scenario) to 8% annually (the optimistic case scenario). Opportunities to attract and retain talent to meet these demands in the region are discussed.

Rob Malatest was awarded the Certified Market Research Professional (CMRP) designation from Canada’s Marketing Research & Intelligence Association (MRIA), which is the highest professional designation available from the Association. Rob is also a Credentialed Evaluator (CE) as designated by the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES). In addition, he holds a Master of Arts in Economics and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics from the University of Victoria.

Since founding R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. in 1985, Rob has become nationally recognized for both quantitative and qualitative research. He continues to lead numerous large-scale studies that examine human resource and labour market issues at both the regional and sectoral level. He has led several national studies that have examined workforce issues for Canada’s agricultural sector including work done for the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council and Agriculture and Agrifood Canada. He has also completed provincial agricultural studies for the province of Alberta and British Columbia. Rob also has extensive experience in the design, development and administration of projects intended to improve client understanding of workforce education and training issues as well as to identify modifications that could enhance the quality of such programs and services.

As a practicing economist, Rob has also led a number of studies intended to address regional human resource challenges. This includes projects completed for Kamloops, Central Okanagan, North Fraser and the Cariboo regions to name a few. These studies have culminated in the development of comprehensive workforce strategies that address workforce recruitment and attraction, skills upgrading and retention.

Closing Remarks
Todd Bondaroff, Vice President, Student Services and Community Relations, Northern Lights College


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Presenting Partners

Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia logos and text stating this program is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia


Forum Partners

BC Hydro


Independent Contractors and Businesses Association



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