Testing the impact of IT training for youth

Generating evidence about NPower Canada’s programs to support scaling

Digital skills are in high demand in today’s economy, yet many vulnerable young people remain shut out of careers in the burgeoning technology sector.

NPower Canada, a charitable organization that works with underserved young adults, is working to change that. The organization offers suite of programs designed to provide low-income youth with training in digital and professional skills for careers in IT and contribute to making the IT workforce more inclusive and diverse.

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) has invested $1.8 million in the scaling and rigorous evidence generation of NPower’s programs, which will provide participants with professional and technical skills training, job placement and retention support, and help with career advancement. The funding will allow NPower to expand the programs it offers at its existing sites in Ontario and Alberta, and launch two new sites in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. The project aims to enroll more than 3,000young people between 18 and 29 years old from diverse backgrounds who are unemployed or underemployed.

Blueprint is working with NPower to develop tools and resources to support effective scaling, define program outcomes, streamline data collection across sites and develop a better understanding of participant experiences and outcomes. Our approach emphasizes ongoing evidence generation and learning to ensure program impacts can be sustained and improved over time.  

We are also working with NPower and performing a rigorous impact evaluation that will assess the long-term effects of the programs on participants’ employment and earnings. The evidence and insights that Blueprint generates will support NPower as it continues to expand its programs across Canada.

More recently, Blueprint has undertaken a review and analysis of NPower Canada’s participant and program data captured since their launch in 2014. Our analysis focused on measuring the outcomes achieved by its workforce development program and its youth participants pre- and post-COVID-19 onset. We have prepared a report sharing the results that have been achieved here.

Read more our evidence generation approach for skills development projects funded by FSC here

Digital skills are in high demand in today’s economy, yet many vulnerable young people remain shut out of careers in the burgeoning technology sector.

NPower Canada, a charitable organization that works with underserved young adults, is working to change that. The organization offers suite of programs designed to provide low-income youth with training in digital and professional skills for careers in IT and contribute to making the IT workforce more inclusive and diverse.

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) has invested $1.8 million in the scaling and rigorous evidence generation of NPower’s programs, which will provide participants with professional and technical skills training, job placement and retention support, and help with career advancement. The funding will allow NPower to expand the programs it offers at its existing sites in Ontario and Alberta, and launch two new sites in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. The project aims to enroll more than 3,000young people between 18 and 29 years old from diverse backgrounds who are unemployed or underemployed.

Blueprint is working with NPower to develop tools and resources to support effective scaling, define program outcomes, streamline data collection across sites and develop a better understanding of participant experiences and outcomes. Our approach emphasizes ongoing evidence generation and learning to ensure program impacts can be sustained and improved over time.  

We are also working with NPower and performing a rigorous impact evaluation that will assess the long-term effects of the programs on participants’ employment and earnings. The evidence and insights that Blueprint generates will support NPower as it continues to expand its programs across Canada.

More recently, Blueprint has undertaken a review and analysis of NPower Canada’s participant and program data captured since their launch in 2014. Our analysis focused on measuring the outcomes achieved by its workforce development program and its youth participants pre- and post-COVID-19 onset. We have prepared a report sharing the results that have been achieved here.

Read more our evidence generation approach for skills development projects funded by FSC here

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

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