EI claimants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skills Bridge essential skills pilot project in BC

Skills Bridge offers Essential Skills training with the aim of ensuring that participants in academic, trades training, and apprenticeship programs emerge fully ready for employment. The pilot project is an outcome evaluation of a system of Essential Skills coaching at three sites – Douglas College, North Island College, and SkillPlan. The performance measures include Essential Skills learning gains, student engagement, and grades. The study develops an evaluation framework and survey instruments, and includes a cost-effectiveness analysis. Implementation of Skills Bridge at the three pilot sites informs a larger consortium of educational institutions implementing Essential Skills training for their students. SRDC is a research partner in the pilot project funded by the participating colleges and industry training institutions.

Start-end date: September 2013 - April 2014
Sponsor: DataAngel Policy Research Inc.

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

Group-based Employment Assistance Benefits

A research study that examines the growing trend of group-based approaches to employment programming in Canada and abroad. The study includes a literature review on the theoretical principles of this approach, a summary of domestic and international evidence on its barriers, challenges, and effectiveness, and a brief description of 8-10 Canadian and international examples of effective group-based employment programs.

Start-end date: February 2011 - May 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

Expert Opinion on Work-sharing Program

This project provided expert opinion and recommendations on ways to ensure the right balance is achieved in Canada’s Work-Sharing Program (WSP) between the policy objectives of averting temporary layoffs, ensuring the well-functioning of the labour market, and containing costs to the EI Account.

Start-end date: October 2010 - November 2010
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Literature Review for the Evaluation of the Work-sharing Initiative

A literature review of the most relevant and recent Canadian and international research and evaluation studies examining issues relating to short-time compensation work-sharing arrangements and the economic and social issues relating to cyclical downturns.

Start-end date: January 2010 - June 2010
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Strategic Evaluation

Summative Evaluation of the 2005 Employment Insurance Pilot Projects

Evaluation of the three employment insurance (EI) pilot projects implemented in 2005 in selected regions across Canada to assess whether or not the pilot projects truly altered targeted EI recipients’ work patterns in such a way as to increase their work effort.

Start-end date: September 2009 - March 2010
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Strategic Evaluation

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

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

Design of a Pilot Project to Assess the Impacts of Flexible Benefits for First Time and Occasional EI Claimants

A design for a demonstration project using random assignment to measure the impacts of introducing flexibility in the delivery EI benefits.

Start-end date: February 2009 - October 2009
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, EI Policy Branch

Improving the EI Program Through Experimentation

A study assessing the feasibility of using random assignment designs to explore options to improve labour market outcomes of workers through changes in provisions and rules of the employment insurance program.

Start-end date: February 2007 - April 2007
Sponsor: Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Personal Re-employment Accounts

A study exploring the use of personal accounts for re-employment, unemployment insurance, human capital development, and other purposes. A workshop and presentations of policymakers and experts assessed the alternatives.

Start-end date: June 2006 - March 2007
Sponsor: Human Resources and Social Development Canada

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

Experience Rating Employment Insurance in Canada: A Literature Review

Start-end date: January 2004 - April 2004
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Comportements et attitudes des prestataires québécois de l’assurance-emploi

A study of behaviour and attitudes of Employment Insurance recipients in Quebec using data from SRDC Survey of the Repeat Use of Employment Insurance (SRUEI).

Start-end date: December 2001 - March 2002
Sponsor: Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec

Expert advice and design options for at-risk youth and for frequent users of Employment Insurance

Start-end date: September 2001 - October 2001
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada

Earnings Supplement Project, Phase III

A three-year program of research on patterns of work and reliance on Employment Insurance (EI) that brings together a wide range of data, including the linkage of surveys and administrative databases. The objective of this research is to better understand the barriers that certain workers face in trying to obtain secure year-round employment as a basis for formulating appropriate policy responses.

Start-end date: March 2001 - March 2004
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada
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Earnings Supplement Project, Phase II

A program of research to develop and conduct the Survey of the Repeat Use of Employment Insurance (SRUEI), a nationally representative survey (administered in the field by Statistics Canada) of frequent beneficiaries of Employment Insurance, and to produce a set of research studies based on data derived from the survey.

Start-end date: March 1999 - March 2001
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada, Applied Research Branch
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Earnings Supplement Project

A randomized experiment that involved more than 11,000 employment insurance recipients (either repeat EI users or displaced workers) in nine communities that tested the use of financial incentives in the form of temporary “earnings insurance” as a way of hastening re-employment.

Start-end date: July 1996 - March 2004
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada, Applied Research Branch
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