Integrating essential skills and employment services in British Columbia

Testing integrated essential skills services with employment service providers

Developing essential skills is becoming increasingly important for Canadian workers.

Essential skills are those that Canadians need to succeed in work, learning and life. They include literacy, numeracy and digital literacy, as well as social and emotional skills such as communication, adaptability, problem solving and collaboration. These skills provide workers with a strong foundation to help them find a job, succeed at work and pursue further learning and skills development throughout their lives.

The project

The Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program is funding a five-year project to design and test an innovative intervention that integrates essential skills training and employment services in British Columbia to improve the employment outcomes of jobseekers. Blueprint is partnering with the Training Group at Douglas College — which delivers labour market training programs and services — to design and pilot the new model.

Working together, Blueprint and the Training Group are designing two skills training models to better prepare jobseekers for success in the labour market. The first model focuses on teaching essential skills to help participants prepare for occupational training and maintain sustainable employment. The second model targets those with complex needs who may require additional training; it focuses on building social and emotional skills to bolster participants’ confidence and better prepare them to access additional employment training.

Our approach

Our team will use a human-centred design approach to develop the two models. This involves engaging jobseekers to understand their attitudes, feelings and behaviours. We are testing and evaluating approaches for measuring social and emotional skills, which we hope will contribute to the knowledge base of how to assess these skills in the context of employment services and adult training.

Throughout the project, Blueprint will work with the B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to analyze administrative data to gauge participant outcomes, and use the information to make ongoing adjustments and improvements to the program.

What’s next

The skills training curriculum will be delivered at the Training Group’s WorkBC Centre sites in Maple Ridge, Langley and Aldergrove. We are seeking additional service providers throughout the province to participate in the pilot, which aims to recruit 1,100 jobseekers who will receive the essential skills training. The outcomes of participants will be compared to those of non-participating WorkBC clients with similar characteristics.

The pilot is expected to launch in 2020and continue until 2022. The findings could have important consequences for the success of jobseekers in British Columbia and throughout Canada.

Developing essential skills is becoming increasingly important for Canadian workers.

Essential skills are those that Canadians need to succeed in work, learning and life. They include literacy, numeracy and digital literacy, as well as social and emotional skills such as communication, adaptability, problem solving and collaboration. These skills provide workers with a strong foundation to help them find a job, succeed at work and pursue further learning and skills development throughout their lives.

The project

The Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program is funding a five-year project to design and test an innovative intervention that integrates essential skills training and employment services in British Columbia to improve the employment outcomes of jobseekers. Blueprint is partnering with the Training Group at Douglas College — which delivers labour market training programs and services — to design and pilot the new model.

Working together, Blueprint and the Training Group are designing two skills training models to better prepare jobseekers for success in the labour market. The first model focuses on teaching essential skills to help participants prepare for occupational training and maintain sustainable employment. The second model targets those with complex needs who may require additional training; it focuses on building social and emotional skills to bolster participants’ confidence and better prepare them to access additional employment training.

Our approach

Our team will use a human-centred design approach to develop the two models. This involves engaging jobseekers to understand their attitudes, feelings and behaviours. We are testing and evaluating approaches for measuring social and emotional skills, which we hope will contribute to the knowledge base of how to assess these skills in the context of employment services and adult training.

Throughout the project, Blueprint will work with the B.C. Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to analyze administrative data to gauge participant outcomes, and use the information to make ongoing adjustments and improvements to the program.

What’s next

The skills training curriculum will be delivered at the Training Group’s WorkBC Centre sites in Maple Ridge, Langley and Aldergrove. We are seeking additional service providers throughout the province to participate in the pilot, which aims to recruit 1,100 jobseekers who will receive the essential skills training. The outcomes of participants will be compared to those of non-participating WorkBC clients with similar characteristics.

The pilot is expected to launch in 2020and continue until 2022. The findings could have important consequences for the success of jobseekers in British Columbia and throughout Canada.

The Papers

November 19, 2021

Use of Technology and Tools in Responsive Career Pathways

The role and use of technologies that help individuals and career practitioners navigate career pathways are rapidly evolving. This paper outlines potential ways responsive career pathways can be enabled by technology.

English ReportFrench Report
November 25, 2021

The Role of Employers in Responsive Career Pathways

Employers are critical in establishing more responsive career pathways for Canadians. This paper outlines some of the challenges and opportunities employers are facing related to the future of work and skills.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

A Roadmap for Change: Building Responsive Career Pathways in a Post-Pandemic World

This paper offers considerations for strengthening and aligning our careers and employment systems to better serve Canadians across their career trajectory.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

The Career Development Profession in Canada and the Emergence of Online/Multi-Modal Practice Delivery

Career development practitioners have a critical role to play in helping Canadians prepare for the future of work. This paper tackles questions about the role of career development practitioners and the evolution of their practice.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

Labour Market Information in Responsive Career Pathways

Finding ways to make labour market information accessible and useful for service providers and individuals is key for creating more responsive career pathways.

English ReportFrench Report
November 17, 2021

Glossary of Terms

This document provides consistent definitions for the terms that are applied across all of the research papers for the Responsive Career Pathways initiative.

English ReportFrench Report
November 25, 2021

Navigating Canada’s Messy Education and Training Marketplace for Career-Focused Learning

Adult learners have to navigate an increasingly diverse, fragmented and complex education and training marketplace. This paper assesses options helping Canadian learners navigate their education and learning choices.

English ReportFrench Report
November 30, 2021

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Responsive Career Pathways

The path to accessing career guidance is challenging for racialized people, women and newcomers to Canada. This paper offers opportunities to strengthen our publicly-funded employment systems to effectively address labour market inequity.

English ReportFrench Report
November 19, 2021

Applying Behavioural Insights to Career Guidance

Offering forward-looking, customized, high-quality and accessible career guidance to a wide range of Canadians is possible. This paper identifies behavioural and motivational barriers to accessing career guidance and offers a promising path ahead.

English ReportFrench Report
November 25, 2021

Breaking Down Barriers to Career Development

Career guidance systems could be designed with a whole-of-person lens. This paper considers promising practices in breaking down barriers to career guidance for Canadians.

English ReportFrench Report

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