Workplace training

Development of a performance measurement framework for a women in trades initiative

SRDC is developing a performance measurement framework and an evaluation strategy for a women in trades initiative on behalf of BuildForce Canada. The project will see the development, implementation, and evaluation of a tool for employers and online training for staff to support diversity policies and respectful workplaces.

Start-end date: January 2017 - March 2017
Sponsor: BuildForce Canada

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

Enhancing Volunteer Recruitment and Retention

The study is exploring the motivations and constraints facing volunteer firefighters in an effort to support the development of an enhanced set of practices to improve the recruitment and retention of volunteers in rural communities. SRDC will augment existing outreach strategies and messaging to create better alignment with these underlying factors and will incorporate behavioural “nudges” to motivate action. The feasibility of the new model will then be tested through a small scale pilot.

Start-end date: January 2017 - December 2018
Sponsor: Canadian Safety and Security Program

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 - April 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

Cross-sector knowledge translation and engagement on UPSKILL Health

Upskill Health is a supplementary analysis of data collected through UPSKILL to explore the health-related outcomes of workplace LES training in terms of the physical and mental health of individual workers, as well as workplace performance and business outcomes. Upskill Health builds evidence on the impact of concrete interventions to address key social determinants of health such as literacy and employment, and informs workplace skill development policies and programs by demonstrating that there are measurable health and business outcomes associated with improvements in LES.

With continued financial support from PHAC, SRDC is developing a knowledge translation and engagement (KTE) strategy to share the results and implications of Upskill Health with key government and external stakeholders in the business, LES, and mental health communities. This strategy of facilitating cross-sector dialogue is intended to support the Agency in its mandate of leveraging action on social determinants of health.

Start-end date: March 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

The Role of Employment Social Enterprises in Supporting Transitioning Youth

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence and its partner, the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, are conducting a demonstration project to evaluate the role of Employment Social Enterprises (ESEs) in supporting the labour market transitions of youth facing barriers to developing their career potential. The project partners with local social entrepreneurs, employment service providers and employers to generate work placements in new or existing ESEs that focus on employing barriered youth, giving youth participants the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and skill development that is in line with local labour market opportunities. This project is designed to fill a gap in knowledge with regard to understanding the role that transitional placements in ESEs can play in improving employment outcomes for at-risk youth.

Start-end date: February 2016 - January 2019
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

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

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

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

Review of The Impacts of Technology on Apprentice and Journeyperson Skills Requirements at the Workplace survey

Reviewed draft questionnaire for clarity of concepts, consistency with workplace skills literature, likely quality of response, and flow pattern.

Start-end date: April 2013 - April 2013
Sponsor: Canadian Apprenticeship Forum

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.

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

Occupational Health and Safety and Essential Skills

The purpose of this project is to design a field test of an innovative program of occupational health and safety training that embeds individually customized transferable skills enhancement for lower skilled workers. The goal is to enhance the effectiveness of such training in improving OHS outcomes such as worker knowledge, worker and organizational actions that reduce injury risk, and reduced illness and injury rates.

Start-end date: April 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Institute for Work and Health

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.

BC Workplace Training Project

SRDC collaborated with Douglas College to design and conduct an evaluation of an Essential Skills training program designed to upgrade the transferable skills of 1,200 eligible participants working in the tourism and retail sectors throughout British Columbia. The Workplace Training Program is funded by the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. The program is delivered by the Continuing Education and Training Association of BC (CETABC), which is a consortium of post-secondary institutions. The evaluation involves both implementation and outcomes research.

Start-end date: December 2011 - March 2013
Sponsor: The Training Group at Douglas College

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

Training in SMEs

The research is to provide a better understanding of policies and programs that have proven effective at encouraging small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to undertake training and skills development among their employees, with a view to provide HRSDC with an external view on recent and effective developments in policy and programming on issues pertinent to SME-sponsored training and skills development, and present the findings of this research in provincial roundtables in Quebec and Manitoba.

Start-end date: October 2010 - March 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec

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
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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.

Read the reports

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

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

BC Reclamation and Prospecting Teams Pilot Project

Preparation of a research design report for evaluating a culturally specific training curriculum delivered to First Nation youths in Northwestern BC using a mainly non-classroom-based teaching model.

Start-end date: February 2007 - April 2007
Sponsor: Northwest Community College