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Feds spent $30K to rename ‘Future Skills Lab’ — then decided on ‘Future Skills Centre’

The Future Skills Lab job training agency was created by Finance Minister Bill Morneau's council of economic advisers and announced in the 2017 budget.
The Future Skills Lab job training agency was created by Finance Minister Bill Morneau's council of economic advisers and announced in the 2017 budget. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The federal Liberal government spent more than $30,000 to come up with a better name for its “Future Skills Lab” job training agency – and settled on “Future Skills Centre” instead.

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The idea and original name, generated by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s council of economic advisers, were announced in the 2017 budget.

The agency’s mandate is to find new ways to provide skills training, combining efforts with the Future Skills Council, which identifies emerging job-market trends to help focus government spending on employment initiatives.

Internal government documents from earlier this year noted one small problem: No one had focus-tested the agency’s name.

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Participants in a public opinion poll commissioned in early February preferred calling the “lab” a “centre” instead. The final report, which cost $30,480, recommended a short and straightforward name.

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The centre is supposed to start operations this year, but the government is giving groups until next week to submit proposals for running the arm’s-length agency.