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Embracing Uncertainty: Building the Skilled Workforce of Tomorrow

Exclusive New Two-Day Event! Feb.16-17, 2022

Building the Skilled Workforce of Tomorrow

Presented through a partnership between AIAC & CCAA

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have compounded serious skilled-labour shortages already being faced by Canada’s aerospace and aviation sector. Looking towards the future, will Canada continue to be among the top international players as an aerospace leader? What needs to be done to ensure our jobs and talent don’t seek opportunities elsewhere?

Join us for a special two-day conference bringing together a cross-section of industry, government and academia for important discussions about what is needed to build the skilled workforce of tomorrow.

Conference kick-off Wednesday, February 16th at 11 am eastern!


Opening Session to Feature FLAVIO VOLPE, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA): 

Conference kick-off

 11 am eastern

What lessons can be learned from the challenges faced by the automotive industry?

Flavio Volpe, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) – Canada’s national association representing original equipment suppliers to the worldwide automotive industry, will join AIAC President and CEO Mike Mueller to discuss how Canada’s automotive industry has pivoted in the face of challenges and what it is doing to ensure it retains the skills of the future.



2 pm Eastern

The Adoption of Industry 4.0: Understanding its impact and meeting the challenges

For decades, Canada has built a robust and competitive aerospace industry that plays a crucial role in the Canadian economy, with 700 aerospace companies employing roughly 90,000 people. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for labour outstripped supply in the industry, resulting in labour shortages in many occupations. A major

ongoing challenge is attracting a new generation of workers by offering good jobs and better work. The adoption of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is often presented as a way to increase the competitiveness of the industry, while improving the

quality of work and increasing skills by reducing routine, repetitive tasks. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an even greater spotlight on the role of I4.0 and its impact on jobs and skills. The presentation will draw on research conducted in the Montreal and Toronto aerospace clusters:

1) to better understand the impact of I4.0 on work and skills and

2) to identify the conditions that will enable the various stakeholders to meet the challenges of I4.0 and future skills.

Presentation by:  Christian Lévesque, Professor, Department of Human Resources Management, HEC Montreal and Cassandra Bowkett, post-doctoral researcher at HEC Montréal and lecturer at the University of Manchester.


11 am Eastern

What lessons can be learned from the European Union?

Christina Wilen, National Expert at the Directorate General for Defence & Aerospace Industry and Space Programs (DG DEFIS) at the European Commission, with additional responsibilities for the Skills portfolio, will join Mike Mueller to present on action being taken by the European Union to ensure the skilled workforce of the future.





3 pm Eastern

Regional Perspective Panel

A panel of regional experts will discuss the skills challenges from each of their unique vantage points, including how industry can best collaborate to ensure our jobs and talent don’t seek opportunities elsewhere.


From top left clockwise:

MIKE MUELLER, President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Association of Canada

ROBERT DONALD, Executive Director, Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace

BÉATRICE PERIER AGOSTINI, Director, Next Generation and Workforce, Aéro Montréal

VICTORIA BELBIN, Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Canada Aerospace & Defence Association (ACADA)

MOIRA HARVEY, Executive Director, Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC)

WENDELL WIEBE, Chief Executive Officer, Manitoba Aerospace

Other topics being covered as part of the two-day conference agenda will include:

  • How best to support workers and grow the workforce through skilled labour programs;
  • Partnerships with post-secondary institutions;
  • The need for industry to implement comprehensive training programs to grow the workforce;
  • How to best leverage industry-government collaboration and cooperation;
  • The role of Employment and Social Development Canada, together with other government departments, to ensure we have the workers for high-paying, value-added jobs for generations to come.