Analyzing gender, skills development programs, and labour mobility

Using analytics to test the value of training for women

Public-sponsored skills development programs are often used by individuals who need training to secure a job in a new industry or occupation. While this ‘fresh start’ often opens up new opportunities, its value often depends on the occupation people are leaving behind – switching away from high-paying industries or occupations can result in a loss of skills and experience which negatively impacts future earnings.

At the same time, women in Canada are still disproportionately represented in low-paying occupations. For women in low-paying jobs, could the value of training used to switch occupations be greater than the potential loss of skills and experience that comes with such a switch? And if so, could publicly sponsored skills development programs have a particularly positive impact for women?

Blueprint is leading a research project to answer the question of whether public-sponsored skills development programs contribute towards reducing gender inequity in Canada. To address this question, we are looking at differences in post-training outcomes across genders and occupations, and comparing outcomes of women who accessed public skills development programs with those who didn’t.

The project is part of an initiative launched and funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to grant researchers access to a new labour market database (the Active Labour Market Program Data Platform)that connects employment service administrative data with income and demographic data. We are conducting this research in collaboration with Miana Plesca, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph.

Public-sponsored skills development programs are often used by individuals who need training to secure a job in a new industry or occupation. While this ‘fresh start’ often opens up new opportunities, its value often depends on the occupation people are leaving behind – switching away from high-paying industries or occupations can result in a loss of skills and experience which negatively impacts future earnings.

At the same time, women in Canada are still disproportionately represented in low-paying occupations. For women in low-paying jobs, could the value of training used to switch occupations be greater than the potential loss of skills and experience that comes with such a switch? And if so, could publicly sponsored skills development programs have a particularly positive impact for women?

Blueprint is leading a research project to answer the question of whether public-sponsored skills development programs contribute towards reducing gender inequity in Canada. To address this question, we are looking at differences in post-training outcomes across genders and occupations, and comparing outcomes of women who accessed public skills development programs with those who didn’t.

The project is part of an initiative launched and funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to grant researchers access to a new labour market database (the Active Labour Market Program Data Platform)that connects employment service administrative data with income and demographic data. We are conducting this research in collaboration with Miana Plesca, a professor of economics at the University of Guelph.