Employment supports and services

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

Employer tools for workplace mental health

The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has been leading efforts to establish a mentally healthy workplace culture in Canada, starting with the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. There are many resources to help employers implement the Standard and support workplace mental health more generally, but these may be difficult to locate and use. MHCC is leading an initiative to develop a free, online, bilingual electronic tool to bring these resources together and make them easy for employers to use. SRDC has been engaged to conduct a curated inventory of relevant resources, advise on current gaps, and to provide recommendations on how to address these.

Start-end date: January 2017 - March 2017
Sponsor: Mental Health Commission of 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

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

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

Personal income information for disabilities assistance recipients

This project develops a state-of-the-art income calculator website for British Columbians receiving disability assistance (PWDs) and trains employment services centre case managers in its use. The site is designed to improve access to accurate income information for PWDs, including (a) income estimations for specific job opportunities and (b) a personal account where they can keep track of their earning exemption totals and see the effect that earnings have on their Disability Assistance payments. Case managers introduce their PWD clients to the tool and help them to enter the required information. The project aims to improve clients’ understanding of the effect that earnings and moving in and out of work will have on their Disability Assistance Benefits and overall income. It should raise their confidence in the financial consequences of their employment decisions and reduce financial apprehension when moving into employment. The project is designed as an experimental demonstration to quantify the impact of implementation of the Income Calculator on PWDs’ financial security, their willingness and motivation to seek employment opportunities, and improvements in their medium-to long-term employment outcomes.

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

Employment Support and Income Assistance (ESIA) Transformation Project

SRDC has partnered with Davis Pier Consulting to support a project to transform the Employment Support and Income Assistance system in Nova Scotia. A key component of the project is the development of a client segmentation approach to service delivery that will help the government design and implement targeted interventions to serve clients according to their labour market needs. SRDC is designing this client segmentation model, including both analysis of client and outcome data and the development of criteria/assessment tools to support the model. SRDC is also contributing to the design of targeted interventions to best serve ESIA clients according to their needs.

Start-end date: January 2016 - December 2016
Sponsor: Nova Scotia Department of Community Services

Community Employment Loan Program Evaluation

Social Capital Partners has engaged SRDC to evaluate the impact and return on investment of the Ontario Community Loans Program (OCLP). The OCLP is a joint initiative between Social Capital Partners (a non-profit organization that develops innovative social finance solutions) and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI), in partnership with employment service providers and financial institutions. Through the OCLP, low-income jobseekers facing employment barriers are matched with job opportunities at small- and medium-sized employers (SMEs). SMEs who hire and retain jobseekers for at least six months pay reduced interest rates on their business loans through reimbursements provided by the Ontario government. SRDC is conducting an impact evaluation to examine the extent to which the OCLP leads to increased employer reach among employment service providers, improved employment outcomes for low-income jobseekers, and improved business outcomes for SMEs, as well as a cost-benefit analysis to assess the extent to which OCLP yields a net return for the Ontario government.

Start-end date: January 2016 - January 2017
Sponsor: Social Capital Partners

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Local Poverty Reduction Fund Program Evaluation

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has engaged SRDC to evaluate the impact of its Local Poverty Reduction Fund initiative. The Local Poverty Reduction Fund is a six-year initiative launched by the Ontario government in 2015 to support innovative, community-driven projects that measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. TDSB has been granted funding through the initiative to introduce innovative process improvements at its Next-Steps Employment Centres, including a coaching-based case management framework and Motivational Interviewing. The changes are designed to improve outcomes for clients who are not in education, employment or training, and clients who are long-term unemployed. SRDC is serving as a third-party evaluator that is designing and conducting an evaluation of the implementation and impact of these process improvements on clients’ outcomes.

Start-end date: January 2016 - January 2017
Sponsor: Toronto District School Board

On Track to Opportunities: Linking Transit Development to Community Employment and Training Project – Design and implementation plan

The goal of this project is to develop a detailed design and implementation plan for a workforce development 'pipeline' model to support the implementation of the Metrolinx Community Benefits Framework. The purpose of the 'pipeline' is to ensure Toronto residents that have been historically disadvantaged are engaged and prepared for employment in new jobs related to Metrolinx transit projects in the GTA. This project is building on previous work undertaken by SRDC in 2015, which involved designing a prototype of the 'pipeline' model.

Start-end date: December 2015 - April 2016
Sponsor: Atkinson Foundation, Metcalf Foundation, and United Way of Greater Toronto

The Employment Navigator Pilot Project

The project involves new cross-systems partnerships working collectively to improve employment opportunities for individuals in supportive housing. The proposed model is a new and untried approach that pairs two distinct evidence-based approaches in housing and employment — Housing First and Customized Employment. The approaches place an "employment navigator" in the supportive housing location to link housing with Customized Employment and other employment services for tenants who are in stable and permanent housing. This is consistent with an underlying principle behind Housing First, which is that people are better able to move forward once housing is stable. The project will operate in two residences in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. The evaluation strategy involves both implementation research and case studies. The BC Centre for Employment Excellence is partnering with the Lookout Emergency Aid Society and the Open Door Group to develop and implement this project.

Start-end date: October 2015 - September 2018
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

Women Gaining Ground Research Study

SRDC was engaged by the United Way of Greater Toronto to inform the further development of their Career Navigator program to better meet the needs of young women facing multiple barriers to employment, by gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges and service/support needs of this group. The study includes a systematic literature and evidence review, and interviews and focus groups to identify and understand: the main barriers (environmental/external and personal) that young women facing multiple barriers are experiencing while transitioning into the labour market; evidence-informed and promising approaches for serving young women with multiple barriers; how the current Career Navigator program is addressing barriers and where there might be gaps; and how adjustments to program design/delivery can be implemented in a way that works for both jobseekers and employers.

Start-end date: September 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: United Way of Greater Toronto

Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) Strategy for Evaluation and Evidence Generation

The purpose of this project was to develop a framework for conducting effective monitoring and evaluation of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) initiative. The framework sets the standards for, and provides strategic guidance around alignment, for all evaluation activities supporting ETSI. This work is supporting the Ministry's goal of ensuring it has a comprehensive strategy for evidence generation to inform current pilots, programs and system features being introduced, as well as to guide future evaluation frameworks for programs and system features under ETSI. The project involves: conducting a review of evaluation approaches and existing frameworks from other relevant jurisdictions used to assess active labour market programs; developing a monitoring and evaluation framework of ETSI in consultation with key stakeholders and based on findings from the review of existing frameworks in other jurisdictions; and developing options for a monitoring and evaluation strategy and methodology.

Start-end date: August 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Year Two Review of the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant

SRDC conducted an evaluation of the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant. The review assessed the early results from the first year of implementation of the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant and determined whether the grant is (1) helping participants develop the skills necessary to find and keep meaningful long-term employment, and (2) increasing employer investment in training to ensure that skills are better aligned with job opportunities and address labour market demands. SRDC developed a research framework, designed and implemented follow-up surveys for training participants and employers, analyzed administrative and survey data on participant employment outcomes, and conducted interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders. The findings of the review identify promising practices and challenges and inform adjustments required at a provincial and/or national level to better meet the goals of the Canada Job Grant.

Start-end date: May 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Manitoba Ministry of Jobs and the Economy

Integrating Motivational Interviewing within Employment Services for BC Employment and Income Assistance Recipients

This project implements and tests an intervention that uses an innovative approach to engage and motivate income assistance (IA) clients using employment services in British Columbia to improve their work readiness and participation in the labour market. The project includes a rigorous evaluation of the proposed intervention randomizing both participants and case managers to the treatment, so that clear lessons for policy and practice can be learned and disseminated. This project is managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: April 2015 - March 2017
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

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

Flexible Workplace Practices in Support of Caregivers

Working Canadians often have multiple roles outside of the workplace that may conflict with the demands of their jobs. One increasingly prominent role is to provide unpaid care for family members or close friends with a long-term health condition, physical or mental disability. Caregiving commitments have a number of direct consequences for workers and businesses that employers can help mitigate through various leave policies, flexible practices, and supports. The objective of this project is to fill knowledge gaps with respect to the costs and benefits to Canadian employers of offering various flexible workplace practices in support of caregivers. SRDC conducted a series of nine business case studies with a comprehensive cost-benefit methodology that measures the return on investment for employers from introducing a range of flexible practices and policies in support of caregivers.

Start-end date: February 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

NextStep

NextStep is a multi-dimensional mentorship intervention designed to help highly educated, trained, and unemployed British Columbians better integrate into BC’s labour market. These individuals have been referred to by some researchers as "Poorly Integrated New Entrants" (PINEs). The YWCA Metro Vancouver is responsible for the development and implementation of NextStep. The intervention includes different types of mentorship programs to support better career development opportunities. The BC Centre for Employment Excellence (Centre), commissioned by the YWCA, is conducting the research and evaluation.

Start-end date: January 2015 - November 2017
Sponsor: YWCA Metro Vancouver

The Face-to-Face Project: Bringing Youth with Disabilities and Employers Together

The Face-to-Face Project: Bringing Youth with Disabilities and Employers Together aims to find creative solutions that improve labour market integration for youths with disabilities. The project is an initiative of the BC Centre for Employment Excellence with financial support from the Vancouver Foundation’s Disability Supports for Employment Fund. Youths with disabilities (ages 18-25 years old) who have little to no work experience are matched with local employers of various sizes and sectors to engage in mock interviews and networking scenarios. Following this first connection, the employers refer the youth to a second employer. In addition to recruiting the youth and employers, the Centre provides resource materials and orientation for participating employers and youths. The project wrapped up in spring 2015 with a mini-forum and an evaluation that captures lessons learned and effective practices. This project is managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: November 2014 - April 2015
Sponsor: Vancouver Foundation

Saskatchewan Program Supports Service

This project assists the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy in the redesign of an employment service program for parents applying to or in receipt of social assistance. SRDC applied a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that included an environmental scan, review of program documents, key informant interviews, stakeholder consultations, policy analysis, and program design. SRDC also developed an evaluation and research strategy to measure the effectiveness of the program.

Start-end date: October 2014 - March 2015
Sponsor: Government of Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy

Workforce development pipeline model

This project is part of Labour Market Partnership between the United Way Toronto and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. As part of the partnership, SRDC created a workforce development ‘pipeline’ model to support the new Eglinton Crosstown Line Metrolinx Community Benefits Agreement. The objective is to ensure Toronto residents that have been historically disadvantaged in the labour market are engaged, assessed, recruited, registered, trained, and employed on new jobs related to the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown Line. The design of the pipeline is a developmental process: planning, testing, evaluating, learning, adapting, re-testing, and re-evaluating multiple iterations of the model.

Start-end date: October 2014 - September 2015
Sponsor: United Way Toronto

Review of Manitoba Employment Assistance Service Providers

SRDC conducted an evidence-based analysis of Manitoba’s Employment Assistance Service (EAS) providers to inform future funding decisions of the Manitoba government intended to promote an effective and efficient service delivery network. SRDC’s analysis provides indications of where changes in EAS programming are needed so that the program can “do more of the things that help, and less of the things that do not.” The analysis addresses five key questions: To what extent is EAS programming aligned with provincial and federal policy objectives? To what extent is current programming responsive to the needs of key population groups and communities? To what extent are programs responsive to the changing dynamics of Manitoba’s labour market? How effective is current programming in achieving results for job seekers, employers, and communities? What is the relative value for money of the existing EAS program, and are there opportunities for service improvements?

Start-end date: April 2014 - September 2015
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

UpSkill Health and Mental Health Outcomes Study

This project is a sub-study of the original UpSkill project, which used an experimental design to evaluate the impact of workplace Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) training on individuals and firms in the tourism accommodations sector. This sub-study conducts an in-depth analysis of how literacy influences health and mental health for both workers and firms, using the considerable data collected through UpSkill. The study identifies the potential of non-health interventions such as LES training to improve population health.

Start-end date: January 2014 - September 2015
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

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

Motivational Interviewing for Manitoba Employment Income Assistance recipients

The project aims to determine the effectiveness of an innovative approach to employment counselling – called Motivational Interviewing – to help Employment Income Assistance (EIA) recipients in Manitoba progress along the Government of Manitoba’s employment service continuum. The study assesses the extent to which the approach: helps participants move forward along the stages of change; improves participants’ readiness for employment; helps participants obtain employment, particularly stable employment; and reduces the receipt of income assistance benefits and recidivism. The study also investigates participants’ experience with the program to learn about what worked well and what did not.

Start date: November 2013
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Manitoba Works! evaluation

The purpose of the research is to test the Government of Manitoba’s Manitoba Works! employment service model in the real-world setting of Manitoba’s new and evolving employment continuum and to assess its effectiveness for improving the labour market success of individuals who are receiving EIA and/or have complex needs. The research will assess gains on outcomes of interest among participants compared to non-participants, model cost-effectiveness, model implementation, and identify key success factors.

Start date: November 2013
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Validation of Manitoba’s Employment and Training Assessment (ETA)

The project aims to assess the predictive validity of Manitoba’s new Employment and Training Assessment tool. As well, it assesses the extent to which adding additional information improves the overall accuracy of the model in predicting long-term unemployment and the extent to which a “scoring” method could be designed that identifies “tiers” or segmentation points, that categorize jobseekers into “categories of risk” or “levels of need” using what has been referred to as a “distance to the labour market approach.” Given the results of the analyses, the project will recommend an optimal approach to needs assessment and jobseeker classification in the Manitoba context.

Start date: November 2013
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Mapping Experiences with Inclusive Employment

A pilot project delivered in partnership with researchers at UBC to evaluate the use of an online mapping tool to document positive experiences with inclusive employment for 30-35 people with developmental disabilities (self-advocates) across BC. The project is designed to collect first-hand knowledge from self-advocates, their families, employers and service providers regarding the factors that contribute to positive, inclusive employment for individuals with developmental disabilities. It informs the BC Centre for Employment Excellence (CfEE), its partners and other stakeholders about best practices in providing supports and creating inclusive workplaces for individuals with developmental disabilities. Based on the success of the pilot, the CfEE and its partners continue to host the map and explore options for extending this approach to other populations of job seekers facing significant barriers in the labour market. This project is managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: November 2013 - September 2015
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (with financial support from Community Living British Columbia)

Understanding current employment programming and services for BC youth

This project funded five research papers that explored challenges faced by BC youth who are struggling in the labour market. The project involved a call for papers inviting researchers to submit proposals to explore youth employment barriers from a variety of angles, and to identify promising solutions for such issues as supporting youth who are entering the labour market or helping them find work that is a better match for their skills. The five selected papers covered such topics as: the barriers faced by vulnerable youth and youth living with mental illness; the value of work placements for refugee and immigrant youth; the role of employers; and the potential of social enterprises for supporting transitioning youth. The papers were presented at a June 2014 symposium in Vancouver involving approximately 80 stakeholders. The research teams also presented their findings during a series of webinars hosted by the Centre in fall 2014. The final papers have been published on the Centre’s Web site. This project was managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: October 2013 - August 2014
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

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

Job Entry Manitoba (JEM)

The project is a developmental evaluation that examines and provides regular feedback to the client on the development and implementation of the new Job Entry Manitoba (JEM) program, a key component of Manitoba’s new training-to-employment service support continuum. The project also identifies key immediate outcomes and measurement approaches to support the building of a data collection system and tools. The evaluation addresses standard implementation questions such as how does the JEM model work in practice? It also aims to systematically understand how the implementation of JEM influences provider practices in both intended and unintended ways. More fundamentally, it assesses how JEM has impacted providers’ sense of professional efficacy by exploring the extent to which providers feel that the new model enables them to better meet the needs of their target population.

Start-end date: November 2012 - December 2013
Sponsor: Workplace Education Manitoba

The Motivational Interviewing Pilot Project (MIPP): Advancing Career Development Services for Income Assistance Clients

The evaluation of a promising intervention — called Motivational Interviewing (MI) — intended to help British Columbia social assistance recipients overcome any ambivalence that may be keeping them from making desired changes in their lives. The hypothesis under test is that MI will act as a catalyst for change moving from unemployment to employment. Outcomes for income assistance recipients streamed to receive MI are compared to outcomes from a randomly-assigned control group streamed not to receive MI.

Start-end date: May 2012 - March 2014
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Pay for Performance Project

SRDC collaborated with Workplace Education Manitoba (WEM) to explore ideas for experimenting with different performance-based funding (PBF) approaches for Essential Skills training. The project investigates the state of knowledge in PBF and identifies key lessons learned, opportunities, and promising directions. Building on promising directions, SRDC designs program model(s) for pilot testing in Manitoba and Nova Scotia and an evaluation to investigate the model(s) effects.

Start-end date: December 2011 - June 2012
Sponsor: Workplace Education Manitoba

Advancing Career Development Services for Income Assistance Clients: A Test of the Stages of Change and Motivational Interviewing Model in a Public Service Setting

To prepare a detailed design document to implement and test a novel and innovative approach to engage and motivate income assistance clients in Saskatchewan to improve their work readiness and participation in the labour market. The intervention builds on the Stages of Change Research Project that implemented a unique approach in the employment development field in Manitoba. The project also involves designing and implementing a rigorous research approach to explore and measure the results of the proposed intervention.

Start-end date: September 2011 - November 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

The SCALES Project

This project is a three-year initiative led by CONNECT Strategic Alliances that seeks to provide career practitioners with tools to identify and meet the Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) needs of unemployed or underemployed Canadians, in an effort to enhance their employment prospects. The purpose of the SCALES project is to increase the capacity of employment counsellors to develop return-to-work action plans that include LES assessments, and to develop a set of tools and best practices that will integrate a range of LES approaches into active employment measures. CONNECT engaged SRDC to develop a field research strategy and research instruments for the purpose of investigating the needs of career practitioners in identifying and addressing clients’ LES needs. SRDC also analyzed the research results and submitted a final report to inform tool development.

Start-end date: January 2011 - May 2011
Sponsor: CONNECT Strategic Alliances

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

Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology

Providing expert advice on accessibility of post-secondary education in Canada.

Start-end date: June 2010 - June 2010
Sponsor: Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology

Evaluation of the Immigrant Bundle of the BC Employment Program

A process evaluation of an employment program targeted for immigrants and refugees who are permanent residents and in receipt of income assistance to learn about effective practices and outcomes for the clients.

Start-end date: February 2010 - September 2010
Sponsor: B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development

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

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

House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women

To provide expert advice on the consequences and effects the current Employment Insurance program has on women in Canada.

Start-end date: April 2009 - April 2009
Sponsor: House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women

Youth Connect

The provision of technical assistance with the development of an evaluation strategy for the Youth Connect pilot program. Areas of assistance included strategies for the effective use of random assignment in one study site, sampling and recruitment issues, and on the development of data collection instruments.

Start-end date: August 2008 - March 2009
Sponsor: Newfoundland, Department of Human Resources and Employment

City of Vancouver Four Pillars Supported Employment Pilot Project

A project designed to provide long-term unemployed individuals with past addictions with a supported and gradual return to employment. The evaluation involves case studies of four participants and their experience with the program from start to end.

Start-end date: May 2007 - December 2007
Sponsor: City of Vancouver, Social Planning Department, Jobs Policy

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

Case Coordination Project in Downtown Eastside Vancouver

An evaluation of a three-year demonstration project delivering a multi-component employment-related intervention designed for long-term welfare recipients living in one of the most disadvantaged urban areas in Canada. Many of the program participants had issues with housing, addictions, health (both physical and mental), income, and coping. The service delivery network comprised six non-profit organizations, including an Aboriginal organization helping Aboriginals residing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Almost half of the program participants were Aboriginal people.

Start-end date: December 2004 - February 2008
Sponsor: City of Vancouver (Vancouver Agreement) Employment Programs

House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources on Employment Insurance Reform, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities

Expert advice to the Hearings concerning the update and review of issues addressed in the Committee’s report Beyond Bill C-2.

Start-end date: May 2004 - May 2004
Sponsor: House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities

BC Job Partnership Pilot Project

A formative evaluation of a British Columbia welfare-to-work pilot project that used third-party labour market intermediary organizations to facilitate and support the employment of income assistance recipients.

Start-end date: December 2000 - March 2001
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security

Community Employment Innovation Project

The evaluation of a multi-year demonstration project that tested the impact on individuals and their communities of an alternative form of income transfer for the unemployed with the aim to increase their employment prospects while simultaneously strengthening the capacity of local communities.

Start-end date: January 1999 - March 2008
Sponsor: Human Resources and Social Development Canada and Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
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Employment Programs for Older Workers

Report for HRDC’s Lessons Learned Series.

Start-end date: September 1998 - September 1998
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada

Self-Sufficiency Project

A randomized experiment that involved over 9,000 single-parent long-term welfare recipients from New Brunswick and British Columbia to test a “make work pay” strategy to support the transition from welfare to work.

Start-end date: February 1992 - March 2006
Sponsor: Human Resources and Social Development Canada
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