Adult training

Women in Trades – Implementation Options and Recommended Pilot Projects

Following the completion of a comprehensive needs analysis for women in BC’s skilled trades, SRDC held a facilitated workshop to present and discuss its findings with a series of industry, union, and government stakeholders. Based on the research results and stakeholder input, SRDC is preparing a series of recommended pilot projects for the implementation and evaluation of women in trades programming for British Columbia.

Start-end date: January 2017 - February 2017
Sponsor: SkillPlan

Forum of Labour Market Ministers' Senior Officials – Best Practices Session

SRDC was responsible for organizing a half-day session to share innovative approaches, lessons learned, and research and evaluation on labour market programs and service delivery strategies. It featured presentations from a number of jurisdictions on recent projects and initiatives to identify best practices, improve program effectiveness, and foster innovation. SRDC staff presented on three SRDC projects in this area, teaming up with provincial Senior Officials who provided context on how the projects respond to their respective program and policy objectives. SRDC was also responsible for producing an Event Report summarizing the discussion.

Start-end date: September 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Labour Market Transfer Agreements summary report

Employment and skills training programming and services in Canada are supported and delivered by federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The federal government provides almost $3 billion annually to provinces and territories through four major bilateral transfer agreements to support training and employment programming for Canadians. The design and delivery of the programs and services funded under these agreements are the responsibility of provinces and territories. This includes programs and services for unemployed workers eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), individuals without recent or sustained labour market attachment (non-EI insured), low-skilled workers, employers, persons with disabilities, and older workers. The 2016 Federal Budget announced new investments for 2016-17 totaling an additional $175 million. This is the first step in a plan to boost support for skills and training through the transfer agreements. To further ensure that these agreements continue to be relevant, flexible, and responsive to new and emerging labour market needs and priorities, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have collaboratively embarked on a process in the summer 2016 to gather stakeholder input on these important investments. SRDC summarizes the outcomes of the consultations related to the labour market agreements renewal in this report.

Start-end date: August 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec

An Innovative Cluster Training Model for New Brunswick Small Business

Development and pilot testing of a multi-level cluster-based training model for New Brunswick small businesses, who lack the capacity for traditional workplace training approaches. The project documents best practices in cluster training and refines existing needs assessments and evaluation tools for pooled small business delivery. The new model will be pilot tested with 6 firms and up to 24 employees in 2-3 clusters. SRDC is leading the evaluation in partnership with the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) with funding from New Brunswick’s Department of Post-secondary Education Training and Labour.

New Brunswick Government news release

 

Start-end date: July 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick

Mentorship and Skills Development in BC's Construction Sector: A Needs Analysis

The large majority of technical training in the skilled building trades takes place on the job through mentoring relationships. Employers report mentorship as the key to developing a qualified tradesperson — however, they also report the quality of mentorship as drastically uneven. Many tradespersons are required to mentor apprentices but have never been prepared adequately to do so. This project supports the development and evaluation of mentorship training models in BC’s construction sector. The focus is on the electrical trade, the largest of skilled building trades in BC. The design includes a sector needs analysis where we explore the most prominent skills and job performance gaps and business needs through key informant interviews and a province-wide survey of electrical contractors. The primary goal of this analysis is to understand the role that quality mentorship can play in addressing these skills and performance gaps and to support the design and evaluation of a mentorship training model in a subsequent pilot.

Government of British Columbia news release

 

Start-end date: May 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Electrical Joint Training Committee

Needs Analysis for Mentoring and Support Services for Women in the Trades

Women are consistently underrepresented in the skilled building trades. While efforts have been made to encourage women to enter the trades as a career option, significant challenges remain for those already in the trades and retention rates are low. The BC Government aims to develop a support system for women in skilled trades including networking and mentorship training to support new apprentices. This project lays the ground work for development of these services by exploring the challenges faced by women in the skilled trades and the kinds of supports that would help improve retention. The research includes a series of focus groups across the province with women currently in the skilled trades, both union and non-union, and with a sample of women who have recently left the trades. Consultations are conducted with employers to explore their hiring decisions.

Government of British Columbia news release

 

Start-end date: May 2016 - December 2016
Sponsor: SkillPlan

Determinants of Participation in Indigenous Labour Market Programs

The primary goal of this project is to identify barriers to participation in ESDC Indigenous Labour Market Programs: the Aboriginal Skills and Training Program; the Skills and Partnership Fund; and the First Nations Job Fun (joint project with IAND). The project includes: a document review and environmental scan of program evaluations and recent policy research; key informant interviews with program agreement holders; and an exploratory analysis of program administrative data.

Start-end date: February 2016 - March 2016
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Mental Health First Aid Inuit Program Evaluation — Phase 2

SRDC was engaged by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to evaluate the second phase of the adaptation of the Mental Health First Aid course for Inuit, using cultural safety principles. Results of this formative evaluation were used to finalize the program adaptation and prepare for its launch in the spring of 2016.

Start-end date: November 2015 - March 2016
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Essential skills and OHS training pilot project

This project examines the role that essential skills can play in occupational health and safety (OHS) training. The project adds essential skills training in numeracy and document use into existing hoisting and rigging OHS training, examines the challenges of this addition, and estimates the impacts of the essential skills training on trainees’ performance on the assessments already used after the training, as well as their performance on numeracy and document use essential skills assessments.

Start-end date: July 2015 - December 2016
Sponsor: Institute for Work and Health

Analysis of PIAAC Data and Development of Evidence Base on Adult Learning for Ontario

This study examines the literacy skills proficiency distribution among key subgroups in the province of Ontario including recent immigrants, Aboriginals, Francophone, youth, and older workers. The objective is to inform policy direction with respect to resource targeting for adult learning initiatives in the province. Among other sources, the project utilizes the latest data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Start-end date: March 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Mental Health First Aid Canada: Inuit Course Framework and Evaluation

Like first aid for physical injury, Mental Health First Aid is designed to provide immediate help to a person experiencing distress or crisis until professional assistance is provided or the crisis is over. Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based course that increases mental health literacy, decreases stigma, and increases helping behaviours. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has adapted the basic course for many special populations, and together with Inuit communities and organizations, is developing an adaptation for Inuit. SRDC was engaged to conduct a formative evaluation of the first stage of the adapted program, using cultural safety principles. Results help to guide subsequent iterations of the course.

Start-end date: January 2015 - June 2015
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of Canada

Ontario Labour Market Focused Credential Options

SRDC conducted an evidence-based analysis of Ontario’s current mix of labour market credentials to determine whether Ontario has the appropriate mix of credential options in its publicly-funded post-secondary education system to ensure successful student labour market outcomes. The analysis informs the development of detailed recommendations for enhancing the provincial credential framework. Options take into account evidence from eight other jurisdictions and an analysis of potential costs and benefits of the recommended changes.

Start-end date: April 2014 - January 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Evaluation of Social Finance Pilots

SRDC is conducting an evaluation of two pilot projects for Essential Skills training based on performance-based funding models. One project is being managed by Alberta Workforce Essential Skills, and will provide workplace essential skills training to lower-skilled employed persons. The other is for low-skilled unemployed persons and is headed by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. In both cases, private sector investors paying up-front for training will be reimbursed a portion of the training costs if participants achieve targeted levels of skills gain. The research includes a range of outcomes of interest including indicators of employability and performance measurement, and will analyze the return on investment in training.

Start-end date: January 2014 - December 2018
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Design of a Learning Management System for the Training Group at Douglas College

The project designs a common learning management system (LMS) for the Training Group at Douglas College so that the organization can conduct business analytics and analyze program outcomes in order to inform program development and to demonstrate outcomes achieved to program stakeholders. The project involves analyzing existing data management information collected for individual programs, identifying common and unique data collection needs across programs, and analyzing funder reporting needs and trends to design a common, standardized learning management system and reporting protocol.

Start-end date: December 2013 - August 2014
Sponsor: The Training Group at Douglas College

Pay for Success

A pilot project aiming to develop and test an innovative performance-based approach to funding Essential Skills service delivery in the provinces of Manitoba and Nova Scotia. This pilot project is the first Canadian test of a “pay for success” model for Essential Skills delivery. The model is designed to stimulate innovation in service delivery, encourage a community of practice for delivery of Essential Skills services, and improve longer-term employment outcomes for underrepresented groups in the labour force.

Start-end date: September 2013 - June 2017
Sponsor: Workplace Education Manitoba

The Foundations Pilot Project

This project is a three-year initiative led by the Training Group at Douglas College, British Columbia. It tests: a) whether a skill assessment and upgrading program delivery model targeted specifically to meet the needs of low-skilled job seekers can be successfully implemented across several sites nationally, and b) what impacts the program may have on a variety of outcomes, such as participation in college-level training, employment, and labour market advancement. Approximately 500 job seekers were recruited, half of whom were randomly assigned to receive program services while the other half served as a control group. The study includes an evaluation framework and research design, as well as implementation, impact, and cost-benefit analyses.

Start-end date: July 2013 - June 2016
Sponsor: Training Group at Douglas College

Review of Employment and Training Programs

The purpose of this Program Review is to assist the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in developing an evidence-based framework for the potential integration and ongoing evaluation of employment and training programs. To achieve this SRDC uses a comprehensive approach including: environmental scan, review of program documents, extensive discussions with MTCU staff, analysis of existing state of knowledge reviews that SRDC has conducted, key informant interviews with other ministries, value for money techniques, stakeholder consultations, policy analysis, and program design. Based on findings from the review of in-scope programs and consultations with key stakeholders as well as an analysis of the existing research on effective and/or promising approaches to employment and training services, SRDC develops high level recommendations for a potential future state of the Ontario employment and training system.

Start-end date: December 2012 - December 2013
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

SustainAbilities essential skills upgrading project in the Athabasca Oil Sands area - Phase I

Development of a research framework and instruments to support an outcomes evaluation for the SustainAbilities project – a large-scale workplace Essential Skills training initiative in Wood Buffalo Oil Sands region, with some 3,000 frontline workers annually. Phase I involves the design of the research framework and baseline survey instruments. Future phases will involve the design of protocols for implementation research and survey instruments for assessing post-training outcomes, including performance outcomes of workers and firms.

Start-end date: October 2012 - January 2013
Sponsor: DataAngel Policy Research Inc.

Evaluation of the Northern Skills Training Pilot Initiative

This project evaluates the Northern Skills Training Pilot, an essential skills training initiative aimed at up-skilling low-skilled unionized employed workers in the forestry and mining sectors in three northern regions of British Columbia. At the start of the evaluation, the initiative involved approximately 300 participants, but this number increased to nearly 600 during the evaluation. The evaluation determines (a) the extent to which targeted workers are receiving and responding to the employer outreach activities and making applications to the program, (b) whether the essential skills training is being delivered as expected, and (c) whether the essential skill levels of program participants are increasing following engagement with the NST Pilot services.

Start-end date: October 2012 - June 2013
Sponsor: B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

Understanding the impact of numeracy and literacy skills on financial capability

In collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, this SRDC study explores the link between Essential Skills and financial capability as well as the impact of workplace-based Essential Skills training on financial capability. Financial capability is defined as the ability to make informed financial decisions. This research study is part of the broader UPSKILL: Essentials to Excel demonstration project and aims to provide a better understanding of the relation between two domains of financial capability (managing money and planning ahead) with the TOWES essential skills scores (numeracy and document use). The study also explores other links between financial capability and important psycho-social outcomes and job performance indicators.

Start-end date: September 2012 - February 2014
Sponsor: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Expert panel – Evaluation of the Workplace Skills Initiative

SRDC was asked to participate in an expert discussion panel as part of the evaluation of the Workplace Skills Initiative (WSI). WSI provided funding to projects that tested approaches to workplace skills development and human resource management in Canada, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. The evaluation determines the extent to which the WSI was effective in achieving its objectives and identifying best practices and lessons learned for future programming.

Start-end date: December 2011 - January 2012
Sponsor: EKOS Research Associates Inc.

ESWS Service Delivery Model in Action

A follow-up study of the Essential Skills Workplace Services (ESWS) delivery model, which was implemented from 2008-2010 by The Training Group at Douglas College in partnership with a national consortium of colleges specializing in workplace essential skills training. This research study aims to provide a rich understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the ESWS model along with a series of practical lessons in its implementation. Particular attention is given to the fundamental role of employer engagement and how essential skills training and its benefits are best communicated in a workplace setting.

Start-end date: December 2010 - March 2011
Sponsor: The Training Group at Douglas College

Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills Initiatives: Measuring and Legitimating Success to Expand Access

A demonstration project designed to develop and apply a comprehensive evaluation model to measure the long-term outcomes of workplace literacy and essential skills initiatives in Manitoba and Nova Scotia. It builds on an evidence-based model developed in New Zealand that integrates quantitative and qualitative measures. The model has been modified to the Canadian context and applies to 20 selected workplace LES initiatives in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, provinces that have invested in sustained workplace essential skills programs for two decades. SRDC is responsible for the evaluation framework and research strategy.

Start-end date: July 2010 - December 2012
Sponsor: The Centre for Literacy of Quebec

Adult Learning and Returns to Training

The design and implementation of an integrated and multi-disciplinary research program to measure a comprehensive range of economic and social returns to learning to inform adult learning policy development.

Start-end date: February 2010 - November 2013
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada
Read More

UPSKILL: Essentials to Excel - Literacy and Essential Skills in the Workplace

A large-scale demonstration project to measure the impacts of literacy and essential skills (LES) training in the workplace. The project uses a random assignment design to provide the most reliable measures of the impacts of LES training on workers skills, their job performance, and other outcomes relevant to workers and firm-level objectives. Approximately 80-100 firms and 1,200 workers participated, half of whom received training; the other half served as a control group in the study.

Start-end date: February 2010 - February 2014
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Office of Literacy and Essential Skills
Read More

Learning and Active Employment Programs

An examination of the participation of low-skilled adults in literacy and employment training programs and the role that literacy and other factors have in explaining take-up and program effectiveness. Drawing on lessons from an initial qualitative study and consultation phase, design options for experiments are proposed to improve the take-up and delivery of public training programs.

Start-end date: August 2009 - September 2010
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Design of a Demonstration Project to Evaluate Workplace-based Literacy and Essential Skills Training

A design for a demonstration project using random assignment to measure the impacts of Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) training in the workplace.

Start-end date: May 2009 - September 2009
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Skills Upgrading for Ontario Working Age Adults: An Environmental Scan of Programs, Gaps, and Opportunities

A review of existing workforce and workplace-based skills training in Canada and selected international jurisdictions. The study provides a detailed examination of the most promising models and conducts a preliminary analysis of the feasibility of implementing them in an Ontario context.

Start-end date: April 2009 - August 2009
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

learn$ave: Individual Development Accounts Project

A demonstration project to evaluate, using random assignment, individual development accounts (matched saving accounts and financial literacy training) offered to low-income families to encourage adult learning activities and small business start-up; the project involved a total of some 5,000 low-income families in 10 communities, as well as non-profit organizations to coordinate and carry out service delivery and financial institutions to maintain the accounts.

Start-end date: June 2000 - March 2009
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Read More