Career Pathways demonstration project

Testing a training model to help individuals progress in their careers

A critical challenge in skills development is finding new ways to help individuals with limited skills and work experience obtain skilled jobs, especially those that require post-secondary education. Blueprint led a demonstration project to test the effectiveness of the Career Pathways model – a potential solution to this challenge.

Career Pathways is a post-secondary training model that helps individuals move from lower-skilled to highly skilled jobs by organizing training into a series of modular steps, with each step leading to successively higher credentials and employment opportunities within a sector or occupation. The model has been widely implemented and tested in the U.S., where early findings have been promising.

Recognizing that Ontario needs new ways to enable individuals with relatively limited skills and work experience to fill in-demand jobs, the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI) engaged Blueprint to lead and implement a demonstration project in Ontario to assess the potential of the Career Pathways model.

Our strategy included an evaluation promising training models and an exploration of policy and systems implications. We partnered with Conestoga College to evaluate two programs aligned with the Career Pathways approach: Supportive Care and Warehouse Essentials. Both programs provide entry-level job training and lead to eligibility for advanced standing in a skilled occupation program. Our evaluation measured participant skills gains, employment outcomes and career goals; explored successes and challenges in program delivery; and assessed the perceptions of employer partners about program relevance and value.

We also reviewed promising practices and strategies for implementation, consulted key stakeholders, and analyzed the alignment between the Career Pathways approach and Ontario’s current policy context.

Our evaluation found that the programs implemented by Conestoga College engaged a diverse group of participants, many of whom faced barriers to employment and further education. The majority of participants completed the programs, reported high levels of satisfaction, and were employed following the training. Most reported an interest in further training and employment within the sectors targeted by the programs.

At the same time, the project highlighted some questions about the scalability of the model within the current system, emphasizing the need for further research and dialogue with colleges and other stakeholders to broaden the impact of Career Pathways programs.  

Read the CareerPathways Final Report or our Report in Brief.

A critical challenge in skills development is finding new ways to help individuals with limited skills and work experience obtain skilled jobs, especially those that require post-secondary education. Blueprint led a demonstration project to test the effectiveness of the Career Pathways model – a potential solution to this challenge.

Career Pathways is a post-secondary training model that helps individuals move from lower-skilled to highly skilled jobs by organizing training into a series of modular steps, with each step leading to successively higher credentials and employment opportunities within a sector or occupation. The model has been widely implemented and tested in the U.S., where early findings have been promising.

Recognizing that Ontario needs new ways to enable individuals with relatively limited skills and work experience to fill in-demand jobs, the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation (OCWI) engaged Blueprint to lead and implement a demonstration project in Ontario to assess the potential of the Career Pathways model.

Our strategy included an evaluation promising training models and an exploration of policy and systems implications. We partnered with Conestoga College to evaluate two programs aligned with the Career Pathways approach: Supportive Care and Warehouse Essentials. Both programs provide entry-level job training and lead to eligibility for advanced standing in a skilled occupation program. Our evaluation measured participant skills gains, employment outcomes and career goals; explored successes and challenges in program delivery; and assessed the perceptions of employer partners about program relevance and value.

We also reviewed promising practices and strategies for implementation, consulted key stakeholders, and analyzed the alignment between the Career Pathways approach and Ontario’s current policy context.

Our evaluation found that the programs implemented by Conestoga College engaged a diverse group of participants, many of whom faced barriers to employment and further education. The majority of participants completed the programs, reported high levels of satisfaction, and were employed following the training. Most reported an interest in further training and employment within the sectors targeted by the programs.

At the same time, the project highlighted some questions about the scalability of the model within the current system, emphasizing the need for further research and dialogue with colleges and other stakeholders to broaden the impact of Career Pathways programs.  

Read the CareerPathways Final Report or our Report in Brief.

Want to learn more? Read all nine research papers for a wide range of ideas to strengthen career guidance:

August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

Responsive Career Pathways Research Brief: Guiding Careers for the Future

The Responsive Career Pathways Research Brief consolidates key findings from our past 9 research papers in partnership with the Future Skills Centre. In this brief, we outline key innovation challenges and opportunities for career guidance services in Canada, and highlight common barriers to accessing these services.

English ReportFrench Report
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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
August 23, 2022

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

Heading

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

No items found.