In early 2024, Canada faces a persistent and widespread structural labour shortage, as well as a critical skills shortage throughout its digital economy. This is despite having a highly educated workforce and the largest share per capita of college and university graduates in the G7. To meet current and future talent needs, Canadian businesses are increasingly looking for a balance of job-specific technical skills and transferable social-emotional skills in their workforces. However, the recruitment and retention of skilled workers remains a challenge, and workers are looking for reskilling and upskilling opportunities to close skills gaps and better position themselves in the evolving labour market.

One potential solution to solving these workforce problems is the use of micro-credentials as a vocational education and training tool. Micro-credentials are poised to become a mainstream rapid education and training solution in Canada. Yet, as micro-credentials are still relatively new in Canada, there remains a degree of confusion among employers, learners, and micro-credential providers themselves on what micro-credentials entail and how best to design them to the benefit of all stakeholders. 

This study was undertaken with the goal of improving the relevance and effectiveness of micro-credentials, fostering acceptance in Canada's higher education and workforce development systems. Through the continuous improvement of micro-credential offerings that are relevant, timely, and effective, Canadian providers can contribute to the broader acceptance and understanding of micro-credentials within the country's higher education, training, and workforce development systems.


To cite this report:

Henningsmoen, E. and McGeer, H., March 2024, Accelerating Canada’s Workforce: Micro-Credentialing in the Digital Economy, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). Ottawa, Canada. Author order is alphabetized.