New immigrants

Current and Completed Projects:

Evaluation of RAJO: The Somali youth and family empowerment project

RAJO is the Somali word for hope, and the name of a culturally-responsive, multi-agency project aimed at reducing violence and increasing resilience in Somali-Canadian youth, families, and communities in Ottawa and Edmonton. Project staff will work with Somali youth and families using a tiered intervention model called Trauma Systems Therapy that has been adapted for refugee communities in the US by Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) – this is the first time TST-R will be delivered in Canada, and to youth aged 12-18. Funded by Public Safety Canada, this five-year project is being led by Canadian Friends of Somalia, in collaboration with the Somali-Canadian Culture Society of Edmonton, and BCH; SRDC has been engaged as the evaluation partner.

Start-end date: November 2017 - March 2022
Sponsor: Canadian Friends of Somalia

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Connecting Arabic-speaking Refugees to Employers (C.A.R.E.) in the Hospitality Sector Project

This pilot in Surrey, British Columbia is using the behavioural economics concept of “nudging” in order to understand the behaviours and choices of small business employers in the hospitality sector towards recruiting and hiring Privately Sponsored and Government Assisted refugees.

Start-end date: September 2017 - March 2018
Sponsor: S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Long-term Case Studies of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE) in British Columbia

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence (CfEE) is conducting a five-year demonstration project to evaluate the role of WISEs in supporting the labour market transitions of populations facing barriers to developing their career potential. The project is partnering with a minimum three WISEs in locations outside of Vancouver and Victoria to provide transitional employment opportunities for different groups of vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, immigrants, and Indigenous people. The pilot involves a series of case studies to provide a better understanding of WISE capacity to serve barriered job seekers as well as the employment outcomes of participants who receive placements with the project's WISE partners. By combining research that examines both WISE capacity development and participant long-term employment outcomes, this study is designed to offer unique insights into the needs of WISEs who serve job seekers facing significant barriers to employment, as well as the benefits that accrue to participants whom they employ.

Start-end date: June 2017 - March 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Developing Provincial/Territorial Capacity for Innovation in Employment and Training Services

Following a Fall 2016 Best Practices session convened for the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM), SRDC is meeting with provincial and territorial labour market officials to share knowledge about labour market programming. The meetings, which include presentations highlighting innovation in the design and delivery of programs, aim to identify opportunities to promote innovation through learning exchange and collaboration among jurisdictions.

Start-end date: April 2017 - March 2018
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Forum of Labour Market Ministers' Senior Officials – Best Practices Session

SRDC was responsible for organizing a half-day session to share innovative approaches, lessons learned, and research and evaluation on labour market programs and service delivery strategies. It featured presentations from a number of jurisdictions on recent projects and initiatives to identify best practices, improve program effectiveness, and foster innovation. SRDC staff presented on three SRDC projects in this area, teaming up with provincial Senior Officials who provided context on how the projects respond to their respective program and policy objectives. SRDC was also responsible for producing an Event Report summarizing the discussion.

Start-end date: September 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Labour Market Transfer Agreements summary report

Employment and skills training programming and services in Canada are supported and delivered by federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The federal government provides almost $3 billion annually to provinces and territories through four major bilateral transfer agreements to support training and employment programming for Canadians. The design and delivery of the programs and services funded under these agreements are the responsibility of provinces and territories. This includes programs and services for unemployed workers eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), individuals without recent or sustained labour market attachment (non-EI insured), low-skilled workers, employers, persons with disabilities, and older workers. The 2016 Federal Budget announced new investments for 2016-17 totaling an additional $175 million. This is the first step in a plan to boost support for skills and training through the transfer agreements. To further ensure that these agreements continue to be relevant, flexible, and responsive to new and emerging labour market needs and priorities, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have collaboratively embarked on a process in the summer 2016 to gather stakeholder input on these important investments. SRDC summarizes the outcomes of the consultations related to the labour market agreements renewal in this report.

Start-end date: August 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec

HR Policies and Best Practices Toolkit for Restaurants

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence (CfEE) with its partner, MacLeod Silver HR Business Partners, developed an HR Policies and Best Practices Toolkit for Restaurants Canada's 30,000+ members. The toolkit produced supports the objectives of Restaurants Canada to provide its member restaurants with tools on how to recruit and retain employees, particularly those from underrepresented groups such as people with disabilities, aboriginals, new immigrants, and youth. The ultimate aim of this project is to produce an accessible and practical set of tools and resources to enable small- and medium-sized restaurants to achieve the workforce benefits of being more inclusive employers.

Start-end date: November 2015 - March 2016
Sponsor: Restaurants Canada

Women Gaining Ground Research Study

SRDC was engaged by the United Way of Greater Toronto to inform the further development of their Career Navigator program to better meet the needs of young women facing multiple barriers to employment, by gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges and service/support needs of this group. The study includes a systematic literature and evidence review, and interviews and focus groups to identify and understand: the main barriers (environmental/external and personal) that young women facing multiple barriers are experiencing while transitioning into the labour market; evidence-informed and promising approaches for serving young women with multiple barriers; how the current Career Navigator program is addressing barriers and where there might be gaps; and how adjustments to program design/delivery can be implemented in a way that works for both jobseekers and employers.

Start-end date: September 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: United Way of Greater Toronto

Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) Strategy for Evaluation and Evidence Generation

The purpose of this project was to develop a framework for conducting effective monitoring and evaluation of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) initiative. The framework sets the standards for, and provides strategic guidance around alignment, for all evaluation activities supporting ETSI. This work is supporting the Ministry's goal of ensuring it has a comprehensive strategy for evidence generation to inform current pilots, programs and system features being introduced, as well as to guide future evaluation frameworks for programs and system features under ETSI. The project involves: conducting a review of evaluation approaches and existing frameworks from other relevant jurisdictions used to assess active labour market programs; developing a monitoring and evaluation framework of ETSI in consultation with key stakeholders and based on findings from the review of existing frameworks in other jurisdictions; and developing options for a monitoring and evaluation strategy and methodology.

Start-end date: August 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Research – Settlement and Integration of Newcomers

This research contributes to the Government of Alberta’s process of developing a future-focused, innovative, and high-impact approach for newcomers, communities, and the economy through a three-fold approach: a review of promising practices related to immigrant settlement and integration; a scan of delivery models for settlement services in Canada, the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, and Denmark; and identification of policy drivers and key players in the field of settlement and integration in the province of Alberta.

Start-end date: June 2015 - August 2015
Sponsor: Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour

Analysis of PIAAC Data and Development of Evidence Base on Adult Learning for Ontario

This study examines the literacy skills proficiency distribution among key subgroups in the province of Ontario including recent immigrants, Aboriginals, Francophone, youth, and older workers. The objective is to inform policy direction with respect to resource targeting for adult learning initiatives in the province. Among other sources, the project utilizes the latest data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Start-end date: March 2015 - September 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

BC Labour Market Attachment Evaluation Framework for ITWs

SRDC constructed an evaluation framework for labour market attachment projects for internationally-trained workers (ITWs) in British Columbia. The work supports a future evaluation to measure success in projects that the BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training is investing in, as a new area of the Foreign Qualifications Recognition (FQR) Pathway. SRDC developed an evaluation framework and data collection templates, identified software/system requirements, defined and validated indicators of outcomes, and developed and tested the data collection framework.

Start-end date: March 2015 - June 2015
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training

International students immigration in Francophone minority communities (FMCs) in Canada

Immigration is one of the proposed solutions to promote demographic growth, economic health, and vitality in FMCs. Amidst the diversity of the newcomers, integrating foreign French-speaking students into FMCs seems a promising avenue to ensure the viability and sustainability of FMCs. A series of three projects together aim to deepen our knowledge about separate but connected aspects of the immigration process for foreign French-speaking students to FMCs. The first project draws up a profile of the international student community in FMCs. The second identifies the recruitment strategies as well as the orientation, settling, integration, and retention services offered to foreign students in FMCs. And the third project studies the facilitators and issues connected with the immigration process for foreign students and looks at the promising services and programs that are already implemented at the FMC level or that could potentially reach the pilot project stage.

Start-end date: December 2014 - March 2016
Sponsor: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Review of Manitoba Employment Assistance Service Providers

SRDC conducted an evidence-based analysis of Manitoba’s Employment Assistance Service (EAS) providers to inform future funding decisions of the Manitoba government intended to promote an effective and efficient service delivery network. SRDC’s analysis provides indications of where changes in EAS programming are needed so that the program can “do more of the things that help, and less of the things that do not.” The analysis addresses five key questions: To what extent is EAS programming aligned with provincial and federal policy objectives? To what extent is current programming responsive to the needs of key population groups and communities? To what extent are programs responsive to the changing dynamics of Manitoba’s labour market? How effective is current programming in achieving results for job seekers, employers, and communities? What is the relative value for money of the existing EAS program, and are there opportunities for service improvements?

Start-end date: April 2014 - September 2015
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Design of a Learning Management System for the Training Group at Douglas College

The project designs a common learning management system (LMS) for the Training Group at Douglas College so that the organization can conduct business analytics and analyze program outcomes in order to inform program development and to demonstrate outcomes achieved to program stakeholders. The project involves analyzing existing data management information collected for individual programs, identifying common and unique data collection needs across programs, and analyzing funder reporting needs and trends to design a common, standardized learning management system and reporting protocol.

Start-end date: December 2013 - August 2014
Sponsor: The Training Group at Douglas College

Measuring the Impact of the YMCA of Greater Toronto on Community Health

The project supports the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s 2010-2020 Strategic Plan and the establishment and continuous improvement of its new Centres of Community by identifying a community health monitoring strategy that cuts across life stages and the community level, the regional level, and the GTA. The project provides a set of options for a community health monitoring strategy based on an analysis of other community health monitoring initiatives in Canada and abroad, data availability and quality for selected indicators in the GTA, and the YMCA’s outcomes of interest related to its programming.

Start-end date: November 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: YMCA of Greater Toronto

Vulnerable Immigrant Populations Program Evaluation

The evaluation of settlement and integration programs over the years highlighted that a subset of the immigrant population characterized by complex and multiple barriers such as mental health issues and trauma experienced greater challenges in settling and integrating into BC communities and the labour market. In response to this realization, the BC government launched the Vulnerable Immigration Populations Program (VIPP) in the fall of 2012. The uniqueness of the VIPP amongst immigrant settlement and integration programs resides in its focus on alleviating significant challenges and barriers experienced by this subset of the immigrant population using a client-centred approach. The program relies on a comprehensive and coordinated multi-agency/multi-sector team to address each client’s unique needs. The evaluation aims to gauge how well the services delivered match the program principles and expectations, examine the strengths and challenges that have arisen to date, and assess impacts of the program on clients, the broader community, and the BC settlement system at large. Part of this evaluation involves a comparison of the program model with similar Canadian programs and with previously implemented pilot programs upon which the VIPP model is based. Evaluation findings provide accurate and useful information for future programming targeting vulnerable immigration populations.

Start-end date: November 2013 - March 2015
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

Understanding current employment programming and services for BC youth

This project funded five research papers that explored challenges faced by BC youth who are struggling in the labour market. The project involved a call for papers inviting researchers to submit proposals to explore youth employment barriers from a variety of angles, and to identify promising solutions for such issues as supporting youth who are entering the labour market or helping them find work that is a better match for their skills. The five selected papers covered such topics as: the barriers faced by vulnerable youth and youth living with mental illness; the value of work placements for refugee and immigrant youth; the role of employers; and the potential of social enterprises for supporting transitioning youth. The papers were presented at a June 2014 symposium in Vancouver involving approximately 80 stakeholders. The research teams also presented their findings during a series of webinars hosted by the Centre in fall 2014. The final papers have been published on the Centre’s Web site. This project was managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: October 2013 - August 2014
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

The Foundations Pilot Project

This project is a three-year initiative led by the Training Group at Douglas College, British Columbia. It tests: a) whether a skill assessment and upgrading program delivery model targeted specifically to meet the needs of low-skilled job seekers can be successfully implemented across several sites nationally, and b) what impacts the program may have on a variety of outcomes, such as participation in college-level training, employment, and labour market advancement. Approximately 500 job seekers were recruited, half of whom were randomly assigned to receive program services while the other half served as a control group. The study includes an evaluation framework and research design, as well as implementation, impact, and cost-benefit analyses.

Start-end date: July 2013 - June 2016
Sponsor: Training Group at Douglas College

Review of Employment and Training Programs

The purpose of this Program Review is to assist the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in developing an evidence-based framework for the potential integration and ongoing evaluation of employment and training programs. To achieve this SRDC uses a comprehensive approach including: environmental scan, review of program documents, extensive discussions with MTCU staff, analysis of existing state of knowledge reviews that SRDC has conducted, key informant interviews with other ministries, value for money techniques, stakeholder consultations, policy analysis, and program design. Based on findings from the review of in-scope programs and consultations with key stakeholders as well as an analysis of the existing research on effective and/or promising approaches to employment and training services, SRDC develops high level recommendations for a potential future state of the Ontario employment and training system.

Start-end date: December 2012 - December 2013
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Job Entry Manitoba (JEM)

The project is a developmental evaluation that examines and provides regular feedback to the client on the development and implementation of the new Job Entry Manitoba (JEM) program, a key component of Manitoba’s new training-to-employment service support continuum. The project also identifies key immediate outcomes and measurement approaches to support the building of a data collection system and tools. The evaluation addresses standard implementation questions such as how does the JEM model work in practice? It also aims to systematically understand how the implementation of JEM influences provider practices in both intended and unintended ways. More fundamentally, it assesses how JEM has impacted providers’ sense of professional efficacy by exploring the extent to which providers feel that the new model enables them to better meet the needs of their target population.

Start-end date: November 2012 - December 2013
Sponsor: Workplace Education Manitoba

Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot Project

Launched in 2012 by then Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the FCR Loans Pilot Project targets internationally-trained workers who are unable to or experience difficulty in accessing traditional lending sources mainly through financial institutions. The project took place in 9 sites across Canada wherein 11 microloan program models were piloted. SRDC designed and implemented a research framework seeking to: (1) draw lessons learned from the diversity of models tested and the contexts in which they are tested; (2) determine whether the microloan programs have the desired effect and under what conditions; (3) conduct a costs analysis of the FCR Loans Pilot Project; and (4) explore whether the microloan models can be sustained in the longer term.

Start-end date: February 2012 - January 2015
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

EmbraceBC Program Evaluation

The Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Dialogue Initiative is a program component of the EmbraceBC. SRDC carried out a process evaluation of dialogues convened to encourage and sustain local community engagement on themes related to multiculturalism, anti-racism, and welcoming and inclusive communities in BC.

Start-end date: December 2010 - March 2011
Sponsor: B.C. Ministry of Citizens’ Services – BC Stats

Successful Programs That Were Effective at Economically Integrating Immigrants Into Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)

This research project seeks to understand the support and services available or needed for newly arrived families in Official Language Minority Communities to help them settle and adapt to life in Canada and to find gainful employment. It also seeks to identify promising ideas that can be implemented and evaluated in the Canadian OLMC context.

Start-end date: November 2010 - April 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Evaluation of the Immigrant Bundle of the BC Employment Program

A process evaluation of an employment program targeted for immigrants and refugees who are permanent residents and in receipt of income assistance to learn about effective practices and outcomes for the clients.

Start-end date: February 2010 - September 2010
Sponsor: B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development

Design of a Demonstration Project to Evaluate the Impact of Providing Labour Market Information to Internationally-trained Immigrants

A study assessing the feasibility of using random assignment designs to explore options to improve labour market outcomes for internationally-trained immigrants through different means of LMI delivery.

Start-end date: March 2009 - June 2009
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Identifying Promising Language Acquisition Interventions to Improve Labour Market Integration for Immigrants

A project to explore policy and program ideas to improve labour market outcomes for new immigrants that could be tested via demonstration projects.

Start-end date: January 2008 - March 2008
Sponsor: Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Identifying Language Training Interventions for Government-assisted Refugees and options for demonstration projects

Start-end date: January 2002 - March 2002
Sponsor: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (Strategic Research and Review)

Integration of Government-sponsored Refugees

Design and consultations around options for demonstration projects to improve labour market integration of government-assisted refugees.

Start-end date: January 2002 - March 2002
Sponsor: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Statistical Profile of Government-assisted Refugees

A descriptive and analysis of selected outcomes of Government-assisted Refugees based on administrative landing data and tax records.

Start-end date: January 2001 - January 2002
Sponsor: Citizenship and Immigration Canada