Upskilling Imperative

Upskilling Imperative

Launching tailored learning journeys to close critical digital skill gaps

Project Overview

The Problem

The acceleration in digital transformation over the past two years has demonstrated how quickly a job role can evolve or disappear. In many Canadian remote and rural communities, employers cannot rely on the traditional marketplace to fill the digital gaps within their organizations. According to KPMG, more than 68 per cent of Canadian employers report challenges hiring people with the skill sets they need to grow. As a result, employers are focusing on upskilling and mentorship to progress and retain their existing workforce.

How We Are Solving It

In response, Lighthouse Labs, in collaboration with Saskatchewan Polytechnic and XLRator, is leading the Upskilling Imperative project. Over 12 months, the team will support 250 mid-career professionals with the digital upskilling and platform to support lifelong learning they need to meet evolving job requirements and help companies grow. This project will pilot Rudder, a digital upskilling and learning support platform, with 16 small businesses in rural and urban communities across B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario.    


Rudder takes online education to a new level with just-in-time learning integrated into the fabric of a company. It is also the first learning platform to offer post-program support for learners. With Rudder, small business employers will be able to conduct targeted skills training, offer on-the-job employee support and provide life-long mentorship programs. Employees can acquire and retain the skills they need to keep up with their evolving job roles. 

This pilot will address six challenges identified by participating companies:   

  • A lack of customized training programs  
  • Limited access to coaching (mentorship) after a training program    
  • A lack of resources to train employees   
  • Few courses tailored to their specific needs and skill levels  
  • Limited time for employees to focus on training  
  • Budget constraints   

 After the pilot, the platform will be scalable to support businesses of all sizes and industries, helping people of all ages and backgrounds adapting to a changing workplace. 

Project Lead

  • Lighthouse Labs 1

Project Partners

  • Sask Polytechnic

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