CRC Research Program

Canada Research Chair in Life Course Transitions in Northern and Rural Communities

Research involves

Examining the role of socio-demographic characteristics in how people gain education and skills, maintain their skills, and experience the labour market.

Research relevance

The research will provide important information about the educational challenges facing youth and families in northern and rural contexts.

Opening Education and Employment Pathways in Northern and Rural Communities

Over the last few decades, higher education, training, and skills development have become increasingly necessary to achieve a comfortable standard of living. More young people are pursuing higher levels of education, but to succeed in today’s labour market, they are increasingly expected to maintain, adapt, and improve their skill sets over their careers.

As Canada Research Chair in Life Course Transitions in Northern and Rural Communities, Dr. David Zarifa is investigating how individuals in northern and rural areas acquire and maintain the skills they need to succeed in today’s knowledge-driven economy.

Zarifa’s work has shown that some social groups experience difficulties navigating the education system, entering the workforce, and maintaining their skills over the course of their working lives. Now, he and his research team are exploring whether some groups among northern and rural communities are under-represented in certain jobs; if the range and type of available schools and programs in northern and rural regions influence postsecondary choices and career pathways; and what unique challenges these regions face in attracting and retaining an innovative and skilled workforce.

Zarifa’s work will help guide Canadian youth and their families as they choose from a growing array of pathways within the post-secondary education system, enter the labour market, launch their careers, and pursue success in their chosen line of work. His research will also change the way governments, policy makers, and education officials think about existing practices and policies.