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.