The mode of operation of the Panel was to fashion regional task forces that ensured that perspectives and ideas reflected local economic and demographic circumstances. Each regional task force was co-chaired by senior leaders from the business and labour communities, while drawing on the experience of other business and labour leaders, educators, community groups, and representatives of all levels of government. The various regional task forces would meet with the national WPP in a dialogue to map out perspectives, points of consensus and divergence, and to suggest national responses to Canadian skills issues.
Eight to ten members would form each WPP Regional Task Force.
The Task Force members would choose three to four key issues that they believed offered the most potential for addressing the aging workforce and its implications for regional labour markets and skills shortages. These issues would then be the topic of dialogue sessions, which would bring together business, labour, government, educators and community groups. Through a process of deliberative dialogue, the province’s “Best Thinking” would be gathered.
The results of the dialogue sessions, along with demographic information, surveys of business and labour leaders and the general public, and an online version of the dialogue session would help inform the Task Force’s deliberations. The final report of the Task Force would be submitted to the national WPP Board of Directors and the federal government.
Result and Impact of Task Forces:
Recommendations for government policy on skills and employment issues, conveyed directly to governments at a senior level.
Recommendations for policy and practice of other labour market partners, at the workplace or institution level.
When the federal government eliminated funding for the Workplace Partners Panel in September 2006, the first two regional WPP Task Force, Atlantic Canada and Saskatchewan, had released their final reports. These reports are available on this website; follow the link to Reports. Following a Forum in June, 2006 a regional Task Force for Manitoba was in the process of being set up when the Workplace Partners Panel initiative ended.