Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network

Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network Backgrounder

The Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network (CLSRN) is a network of academic researchers interested in the Canadian labour market, skills development and use, and public policy as it pertains to these and associated issues. Developmental funding to create the network was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through its Strategic Research Cluster Design Competition. Subsequently, in April 2006 CLSRN was established as a partnership between academic researchers and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSD), with a view to both supporting departmental policy research objectives and promoting the growth of a strong academic research community with an interest in the Canadian labour market. CLSRN governance roles have been assigned to academic and Government of Canada representatives in a manner which balances academic freedoms (in identifying specific research interests and in assessing the academic quality of supported activities) and policy relevance. Over 200 academics – from across Canada, from a broad range of disciplines, and including both newer academics and those with more experience – are currently associated with the CLSRN.

Objectives of the Network

The general objectives of the CLSRN are:

  • to increase the policy relevance of academic research on Canadian labour market behaviour;
  • to build ongoing connections:
    1. between the research community and key public policy decision makers; and
    2. within the community of experts in Canadian labour market and skills research – whether in the academic sector, the public sector, or the for-profit research sector;
    3. between Canadian labour market scholars and their counterparts in other countries, thus enhancing the international impact of Canadian social science research;
  • to synthesize and disseminate labour market research into the public domain to help support evidence-based decision making and informed public discourse across Canada, thus adding value to research projects already supported through other SSHRC programs;
  • to build on and enhance an area of considerable strength in Canada – labour market research – and help ensure the emergence of a new generation of researchers with an interest in Canadian labour market policy;
  • to stimulate the use by academic researchers of Canadian data sources in the field of labour market and skills research, so that a greater public policy return on those data investments can be realized;
  • to facilitate intellectual exchange and cross-fertilization of ideas among Canadian and foreign researchers and extend and enhance international connections at all levels; and
  • to obtain additional funding and secure financial and in-kind contributions in order to continue to facilitate researcher access to the resources necessary for first-rate research.

Activities of the Network

  • The CLSRN commissions and oversees academic research projects on topics related to the Canadian labour market. Our research programs have covered areas such as Education and Training, Immigration, Labour Market Adjustment and Apprenticeship.
  • We maintain an active Working Paper Series. New papers are released every month and are linked to RePEc – a global metadata repository, allowing our Working Papers to be visible on major search engines such as Google Scholar.
  • The monthly publication Labour Market Matters is intended to broaden the reach of research findings by CLSRN affiliates to both academic and non-academic audiences.
  • CLSRN’s annual conference on the Canadian labour market brings together labour market researchers from across Canada as well as other countries.
  • CLSRN has held workshops on Education and Training, Labour Market Adjustment, Immigration, and Apprenticeship, as well as special joint initiatives such as “What’s New in Econometrics” held in conjunction with CLSRN’s 2009 annual conference in Toronto.

Network Structure

An Advisory Board provides overall direction and guidance to CLSRN’s project director and academic directors. The Advisory Board consists of distinguished individuals with experience in academia, government, and the non-profit and private sectors, and has both national and international representation. The core management team consists of the project director and fourteen academic directors.