Sudbury employment agency hosting workshop on job automation

The Sudbury YMCA Employment Services is taking part in some key research about workplace automation.

Workshop being run by the Brookfield Institute, a think tank looking at advancing technology in the workplace

Labour-saving technologies are dramatically changing the nature of work, and new approaches may be needed to take advantage of these changes while reducing negative consequences for people. A workshop about this issue will be taking place on Jan. 25, at the YMCA Employment Services in Sudbury. (Vincent Yu/Associated Press)
Advancing technology is helping many Ontario workers, but in some cases it could be hurting them. An upcoming session at the YMCA Employment Services in Sudbury will look at what our community needs to help workers adapt to workplace automation. Karen Makela of the YMCA Employment Services in Sudbury joined us in studio to talk about the issue in more detail. 5:54

The Sudbury YMCA Employment Services is taking part in some key research about workplace automation.

The agency is hosting one of six public workshops taking place across the province.

The workshops are being run by the Brookfield Institute, an economic think tank looking at advancing technology in the workplace.

It wants to find out what workers and communities need to help adapt to workplace automation.

Sarah Doyle is research director with the institute.

"I think that's really the motivation to participate in the workshops, to have a direct line into the Ontario government, as they think about changes to some of their big training programs, like Second Career," she said.

"We hope to get our report into the hands of employers and colleges and others who also have a stake in the game."

Karen Makela is a manager with Sudbury YMCA Employment Services. The YMCA is hosting a public workshop that's part of an Ontario-wide study that's looking at the implications of workplace automation in different sectors, and the supports they may need to adjust and thrive. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Sudbury YMCA Employment Services manager Karen Makela says automation has the potential to help companies stay competitive.

"Sudbury is actually quite ahead of the curve already in a lot of jobs going to automation, especially in mining," she said.

"We're poised to be able to take some knowledge and some learnings from what's happened there and be able to translate those into future 'what do we need.'"

The workshop takes place on Jan. 25 at Sudbury YMCA Employment Services.

For those who can't attend, there is a survey they can take online.

With files from Wendy Bird

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