New immigrants

Current and Completed Projects:

A Tri-Cities Wrap Around Model of Care to Maternal Mental Health in Immigrants

This project aims to enhance the capacity of service providers and organizations to promote mental health in safe, effective and trauma-informed ways, and to implement a coordinated model of care that would promote mental health and prevent mental illness in postpartum immigrant women and their families. This project will deliver an adapted model of intervention by enhancing referral processes from family physicians / maternity clinics and midwives to community supports, such as early years service providers and where needed to more specialized mental health supports, and by strengthening the capacity of service providers to support postpartum women and their families on improving mental health. SRDC is the learning partner responsible for conducting an evaluation of the project. The evaluation will aim to measure the impact of project activities on service providers’ knowledge and capacity to promote culturally appropriate mental health services; families’ awareness of the importance of mental health; and the accessibility of mental health supports and services for immigrant families with children 0-6.

Start-end date: November 2022 - March 2024
Sponsor: S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Strategic evaluation and learning support for the Future Skills Centre

Over the past four years, the Future Skills Centre (FSC) has supported the development, refinement, or expansion of approaches to developing skills for workers from a variety of backgrounds and in a variety of sectors. These innovation projects are required to mobilize knowledge and evidence among key stakeholders, institutions, and decision-makers for the purposes of improving policies and practices in Canada. SRDC is developing a mix of retrospective and prospective evaluation approaches for a subset of up to 18 of these projects, dependent on the timelines and stage of development of each project. These involve quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis using document and data review, interviews with project partners and their FSC liaisons, implementation evaluation, and theory of change or logic model development. SRDC’s learning and evaluation framework is designed to capture what has been learned from these projects for the future development of the skills ecosystem in Canada.

Start-end date: October 2022 - September 2023
Sponsor: Future Skills Centre

Evidence Review and Mental Health Pilot Community Consultation for Girls' Fund Programs

The Girls’ Fund supports programs that give girls and gender-diverse youth tools to develop into confident, resilient people, right when they need this support most. In preparation for the next Girls’ Fund cohort, The Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) has commissioned an update of the evidence informing Girls’ Fund programming for adolescent girls and gender-diverse youth. Based on needs identified stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, CWF is also engaging with community organizations to understand their experiences with anti-oppressive mental health approaches for children and youth, in preparation for designing and implementing an anti-oppressive mental health pilot in Girls’ Fund programming.

Start-end date: September 2022 - March 2023
Sponsor: Canadian Women’s Foundation

Skilled Newcomer Training Incentive Bond Pilot

The evaluation of the Canadian Work Experience (CWE) pilot projects show that wage subsidies are crucial to encourage some employers of hiring newcomers. Following the lessons learnt from the CWE, Achēv and ISANS are piloting a potentially more cost-effective solution to help employers manage uncertainties associated with hiring newcomers in the Skilled Newcomer Training Incentive Bond Pilot project. The pilot provides employment readiness training and employer connections to
200 newcomers. Employers hiring the participants are eligible for a bond that partially reimburses the salary paid if the probational employment is not a good fit. SRDC is contracted to design and conduct the evaluation of this pilot project.

Start-end date: August 2022 - June 2025
Sponsor: Achēv and ISANS

Women First: Building skills for success

Funded through Employment and Social Development Canada’s Women’s Employment Readiness Pilot, the WOMEN FIRST project is a multi-partner initiative aiming to leverage employment and skills training to address barriers faced by multiply-marginalized women. Led by PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs (PTP) in collaboration with five service delivery providers across the country, the project aims to draw on partners’ collective expertise to develop, test, and evaluate pre-employment and skills development supports. Specifically, the project seeks to build knowledge about approaches to programming, curriculum, and wraparound supports that best serve women facing multiple structural barriers, including low-income women, Indigenous women, racialized women, 2SLGBTQ+ women, newcomer women, and women with disabilities. SRDC is working closely with partners to design and implement an evaluation of the project, including the program delivery across all six pilot sites and new Skill for Success curriculum developed by partner Alberta Workforce Essential Skills. In particular, SRDC is supporting an evaluation grounded in principles of intersectional feminism, anti-oppression, equity, and justice.

Start-end date: July 2022 - September 2023
Sponsor: PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs

Enhancing employment services through development and assessment of Skills for Success training

With the involvement of several project partners, SRDC is developing assessment and training resources to support both transferable and sector-based Skills for Success (SFS) programming; designing and implementing targeted and intensive SFS training to address individuals and employer needs; and customizing assessment and training resources for underrepresented groups. This is being done through a two‑model system ranging from “lighter touch” general training and capacity building to more intensive development, customization, and pilot testing of new training resources. More specifically, the project broadens and deepens existing capacity-building efforts in the skills and employment training sector by scaling up the use of our SFS-aligned online measurement platform; testing new SFS measurement options, including self-report and objective assessment methodologies; developing, delivering, and evaluating new SFS curricula, training resources, and assessment tools; and disseminating findings, best practices, and lessons learned to continue building sectoral knowledge and capacity.

Start-end date: June 2022 - March 2024
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

EMC Skills Evolution

EMC Skills Evolution is a national, industry-driven initiative that will provide new insights for scaling up sectoral micro-credentials, through the identification, validation, prioritization, and building of occupational competency frameworks for the manufacturing and other sectors, providing a sharable roadmap for developing and deploying workforce capability growth through a competency-based micro-credential approach. Specifically, this project seeks to define and apply an industry-driven, multi-sector methodology to micro-credential development and adoption, enabling manufacturers and employers in other sectors to more rapidly upskill and reskill their workforce, as well as to more quickly onboard newly recruited workers and facilitate broader recognition of relevant skills and workforce mobility.

Start-end date: June 2022 - August 2023
Sponsor: Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium

Alberta Settlement, Integration and Language Projects ESL Research

This project builds on the foundation of Alberta’s existing Adult ESL (English as a Second Language) Curriculum Framework to assess the attitudes of language instructors and program administrators across Alberta toward the idea of a unified curriculum for provincial ESL programs. The research is establishing possible opportunities and next steps for bridging the existing curriculum framework to instructors' day-to-day practice and promoting unity across the provincial ESL system. It also includes identifying potential approaches to integrating the new Skills for Success framework into ESL programming.

Start-end date: March 2022 - February 2024
Sponsor: Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES)

Skills for Success Implementation Guidance Development

The launch of Skills for Success in May 2021 leverages the core strength of the Essential Skills framework while tightening the alignment with modern labour market needs, with a greater focus on a range of socio-emotional skills. This project’s main objective is to produce a document outlining key principles and emerging practices to guide the implementation of Skills for Success, reflecting the Government of Canada’s commitment to create and update training programs, resources, and assessment materials, facilitate training participation of vulnerable groups, and build the capacity of stakeholders who serve these populations. Our approach will combine environmental scan and literature review with the involvement of an expert advisory panel representing training and sectoral organizations with nation-wide networks, to develop three broad kinds of content: i) identification of learning needs for underrepresented groups (e.g., Indigenous people, racialized Canadians, persons with disabilities) and key sectors; ii) guiding principles for the design of tailored training and assessment tools to align with identified learner and sectoral needs; and iii) implementation examples and approaches from early adopters of Skills for Success. These will be synthesized into a final report to facilitate tool customization and program implementation aligned with the unique learning needs of groups underrepresented in the labour market, as well as the job performance needs of major sectors of the Canadian economy.

Start-end date: December 2021 - September 2022
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Research and Evaluation Capacity Building for Francophone Service Providers

This project is testing an approach to building the research and evaluation capacity of Francophone service providers in Central-Southwestern Ontario, which consists primarily of practical interventions designed to increase their knowledge and skills in the field. Internal capacity in research and evaluation promotes learning from successes and mistakes in order to better adapt to challenges and be more effective in responding to the emerging needs of different French-speaking immigrant groups. SRDC is working in partnership with the RIF Centre-Sud-Ouest (RIFCSO) on this project. Through this project, staff from participating service providers and the RIFCSO will develop the skills and capacity to gather evidence, measure, evaluate, and report on the outcomes of their existing or future programs. The ultimate goal of this project is that participating Francophone providers will be able to adapt, design, and implement innovative solutions that are evidence-based. Through pre- and post-intervention data collection, the project will identify how capacity-building activities contribute to improved research and evaluation within service providers, as well as how new knowledge has been applied and influences decision making.

Start-end date: December 2021 - March 2024
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Effective Employer Engagement in Newcomer Skills Development Programs

Effective Employer Engagement in Newcomer Skills Development Programs is a research project. It is designed to gather evidence to inform and improve approaches for employer engagement for both service provider organizations and employers. The project will engage a national network of immigrant employment councils (IECs), service provider organizations (SPOs), and employers to share and discuss project findings on the current modes of employer engagement and challenges the stakeholders face, as well as get their input to establish the criteria for best practices in employer engagement and to develop an employer engagement index. The project will produce tools to support SPOs in their employer engagement practices.

Start-end date: December 2021 - March 2023
Sponsor: Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council

Ready English Accessible for Caregivers at Home (REACH)

The Ready English Accessible for Caregivers at Home (REACH) program is a flexible online language training model targeted for newcomer women caring for children at home. The goal of the REACH project is to test the effectiveness of using existing technology, combined with the unique approach to online language training of the REACH model, in meeting the needs of newcomer women. The project consists of curriculum development and a pilot study where participants will be randomly selected to participate in the REACH program. The evaluation will examine the effectiveness of the model in achieving language acquisition and other client outcomes and adaptability by the sector as an easy-to-implement alternative for language training providers. MOSAIC is partnering with Achēv in Ontario and ISANS in Nova Scotia to ensure that REACH has a national yet locally customizable scope. SRDC is responsible for evaluating the initiative.

Start-end date: December 2021 - December 2023
Sponsor: MOSAIC

Canadian Employment Connections: Connecting Canada (CECCC)

CECCC tests the feasibility of increasing settlement in smaller urban and rural (SUR) communities through employer engagement, complementing targeted immigration streams. Specifically, the project tests whether connecting pre-arrival newcomers with employers in SUR communities contributes to higher rates of newcomers' settlement in non-traditional landing communities. This project builds on pre-existing pre-arrival services at ACCES Employment. The core services that participants engage in during pre-existing pre-arrival services are supplemented through additional direct services grouped into three components: information sessions, networking opportunities with professionals and employers in SUR communities, and targeted hiring events involving employers in SUR communities. Pre-arrival newcomers will benefit from having a more diverse pool of landing opportunities, and employers in SUR communities will benefit from accessing a wider pool of skilled talent. Knowledge from this project will directly benefit both policy makers and researchers in understanding initial landing decisions and onward migration. SRDC is the learning and evaluation partner on this project.

Start-end date: December 2021 - March 2023
Sponsor: ACCES Employment

Empowering SPOs to connect with newcomers through CANN E-Linkage Service

Community Airport Newcomers Network (CANN) E-link is a pilot project designed to test the use of technology to proactively connect settlement provider organizations (SPOs) with newcomers who are landing in Canada via the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The SPOs will contact newcomers to provide settlement services to address newcomers’ immediate needs shortly after their landing. This service will be offered to newcomers who are destined for BC or are transiting through YVR to another community in Canada.

The goals of the project are to implement and test the effectiveness of this technology to: 1) increase the uptake of IRCC-funded settlement services among recently arrived newcomers, and 2) connect newcomers and SPOs earlier so that their settlement and integration journey is accelerated.

Start-end date: November 2021 - March 2024
Sponsor: S.U.C.C.E.S.S. – Community Airport Newcomers Network

Building Capacity through an Anti-Oppression Lens

This research project An Anti-oppression Framework to Combat Systemic Racism in Settlement Services is designed to test the use of Anti-Oppression Approaches (AOP) to build capacity of immigrant-serving agencies to recognize and combat systemic racism in the sector. The project will engage immigrant-serving agencies in Metro Vancouver to increase their front-line practitioner and leadership’s awareness, recognition, and understanding of anti-oppression in settlement services at the systemic level through 1) workshops and 2) coaching and mentoring. The Centre for Anti-Oppressive Communication will lead the development and implementation of the training. The evaluation is designed to learn not just about training participants’ experience with the project activities and the resulting skills acquisition, but also the outcomes — what did participants actively change at multiple levels — institutionally, interpersonally, and individually.

Start-end date: November 2021 - March 2024
Sponsor: S.U.C.C.E.S.S. – Tri-cities Local Immigration Partnership

Connecting the Dots

This project aims to develop, implement, and evaluate an integrated, accessible, and adaptive training and support system, serving as an online one-stop shop of educational tools, materials, and community resources for apprentices in the construction trades. The goal is to empower apprentices to take a proactive role in addressing multiple levels of challenges during apprenticeship training. As part of the project, SRDC is designing and implementing a cohesive evaluation framework and data collection tools that not only track the progress of participating apprentices but also collect input and feedback from trades instructors, employers, unions, and other stakeholders to inform current and future products, tools, and services. The project contributes to facilitate the entry, retention, and advancement of underrepresented groups in the trades through an innovative, self-directed approach to online learning and interaction. It is designed to provide equal opportunity and access for groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the trades, such as women, newcomers, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and low-skilled and displaced workers. Findings, best practices, and lessons learned from this project will be shared to support larger-scale expansion of this technology-driven approach to skills development within and beyond the construction sector.

Start-end date: March 2021 - February 2026
Sponsor: SkillPlan

Overcoming barriers to skills development and employment for equity-seeking groups: Research synthesis

Jobs are changing and so are the skills Canadians need to be successful in a modern economy. Acquisition of foundational and socio-emotional skills is critical for those who are currently under-employed and underrepresented in the workforce. However, equity-seeking groups – such as women, youth, Indigenous persons, newcomers, members of racialized groups, persons with disabilities, and people who identify as LGBTQ2S+ – often face individual, organizational, and systemic barriers that prevent them from acquiring these skills and accessing good jobs. In addition, they may lack access to the experiences and supports that foster these skills, such as coaching from mentors and role models, professional networks, and positive early learning experiences; they may also experience differences between their values or customs and those desired by employers in the Canadian workplace. As the federal department mandated to promote a highly skilled and mobile labour force and an efficient and inclusive labour market, Employment and Social Development Canada aims to improve its capacity to better measure, monitor, and address gender disparity and promote access of underrepresented groups across its skills and training programs. SRDC has been engaged to consolidate and analyze available information on the skill gaps, learning needs, and systemic barriers faced by equity-seeking groups in accessing and benefiting from the skills training and employment supports offered by governments and organizations across the country. SRDC will analyze this information using a social-ecological and intersectional approach that recognizes the multiple personal and environmental factors that can influence outcomes in employment and training, and the ways an individual’s social identities can intersect and create exclusion and marginalization. The resulting research synthesis is expected to broaden ESDC’s understanding of the challenges to skills acquisition faced by underrepresented groups, and to inform future programming and research.

Start-end date: January 2021 - March 2021
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Evaluation of the Family Capacity Advocate program

The Family Capacity Advocate program delivered by the Britannia Woods Community House (BWCH) supports families who have a loved one from the ages of 12-25 that are involved in some capacity with the justice system and/or engaged in criminal activity. BWCH is a community-based agency that focuses on providing responsive supports for children, youth, and families who live in fixed and low-income communities, through an equitable and strength-based lens. The Family Capacity Advocate supports siblings, parents, and caregivers using a holistic, coordinated, and equitable approach. Services include counselling, mentorship, crisis intervention, and resource navigation support. SRDC is supporting BWCH in planning and conducting an implementation and outcome evaluation of this new program. SRDC is conducting qualitative key informant interviews, and developing data collection tools and an information management system. Evaluation-capacity building is an important focus of this work, as SRDC and BWCH work together to plan a sustainable approach to ongoing program evaluation efforts.

Start-end date: January 2021 - December 2021
Sponsor: Youturn Youth Support Services + Britannia Woods Community House

‘Hash It Out’: Community-based research on IRER youth cannabis and mental health

The purpose of this project is to explore the relationship between cannabis use and mental health and wellness from the perspectives of youth within immigrant, refugee, ethnocultural, and racialized (IRER) communities in Ottawa. SRDC is partnering with the Centre for Resilience and Social Development and Dr. Saida Abdi (University of Minnesota School of Social Work) to carry out this work. The project is based on a participatory, community-driven approach. A youth research coordinator is leading the research team, and IRER youth are engaged as co-researchers. The project is aligned with an experience-based co-design methodology, which includes conducting qualitative interviews and focus groups, and hosting community engagement events. Through this research, people with multiple perspectives – youth, family/supports, and service providers – are brought together to share their experiences and identify solutions for action and policy change.

Start-end date: January 2021 - March 2022
Sponsor: Centre for Resilience and Social Development

Survey of skilled newcomers who have previously received employment supports from Immigrant Serving Agencies (ISAs)

Employment and Social Development Canada is funding SRDC for conducting a survey research to understand the needs and gaps in terms of labour market integration supports for skilled newcomers, and to identify which supports are the most effective. SRDC is partnering with selected Immigrant-serving Agencies (ISAs) all over Canada to understand their staff’s perspectives of the issues. The research team will also conduct an online survey of skilled newcomers who used employment support services from the partner ISAs. The SRDC research team will analyze systematically both the qualitative and quantitative data collected in order to provide grounded policy recommendations of potential improvements in employment supports to skilled newcomers.

Start-end date: November 2020 - June 2021
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Skills Compass

Young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) are at risk of becoming socially excluded, with low income and lacking the skills to improve their economic situation. Indigenous youth, and youth who are newcomers to Canada, may face additional barriers to becoming engaged in employment or education. Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is leading a pilot project to address potential barriers faced by Indigenous and newcomer NEET youth through a pre-employment training program, wraparound supports, and employment placements. SRDC as the evaluation partner is responsible for developing the evaluation framework and data collection instruments, measuring outputs and outcomes, integrative data analysis, reporting findings, and participating in knowledge mobilization.

Start-end date: October 2020 - March 2023
Sponsor: Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)

CreateAction: Inclusive Social Innovation

CreateAction: Inclusive Social Innovation — This project is evaluating the role that six-month work experience opportunities in the social innovation, social finance, and social enterprise sectors can play in supporting youth who are either not in employment, education, or training (NEET). The project is being led by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in partnership with SRDC and the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC). The project aims to recruit
100 Indigenous youth, new immigrants, young people living in poverty, those who identify as LGBTQ2S+, young people with disabilities, racialized youth, youth in rural/remote communities, and official language minority youth. SRDC is supporting the project design, coordinating tailored supports to participants, and leading the project’s evaluation activities. The evaluation is examining how the placement opportunities facilitate the transition of young people to secure employment in the labour market through the development of skills, workplace experience, professional networks, and tailored wraparound supports. It is also examining how hosting the youth placements will support the capacity and sustainability of innovative social purpose organizations across Canada to hire youth facing barriers from the communities they serve, connect to regional Social Innovation and Social Finance ecosystems, and leverage investments of the Investment Readiness Program and Social Finance Fund.

Start-end date: August 2020 - March 2023
Sponsor: Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet)

Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership: Research on Community Priorities

SRDC is engaged to support S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership (TCLIP) to identify community priorities, measures of success, and strategies to support immigrant integration in the Tri-Cities. The research, guided by a collective impact framework, will help understand the relationships between different community stakeholders, leverage their strengths, and identify opportunities to improve collaboration, community development, and service coordination to better meet the needs of newcomers in the Tri-Cities. More specifically, the proposed research activities will gather the necessary information from diverse stakeholders to help strengthen conditions necessary for successful collective impact projects, and enhance the collaboration and increase the TCLIP’s capacity to use data and evidence to set actionable insights and achieve strategic goals. The research activities include a document and literature review, interviews with key stakeholders, a stakeholder survey, focus groups in multiple languages for newcomers, and facilitated workshops.

Start-end date: June 2020 - December 2020
Sponsor: S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Assessment of IRCC Settlement Service Impacts

Recently, Statistics Canada introduced a supplementary administrative data module capturing usages of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) funded settlement services to the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB). This project is making use of this enhanced administrative database of newcomers to investigate the feasibility of estimating the intermediate and ultimate impacts of IRCC funded settlement service programs through some non-experimental statistical models. The project examines the journey and determinants of newcomers’ usage pattern of settlement services. The usage pattern will inform the creation of the counterfactual comparison samples to assess the socioeconomic outcomes and impacts of various IRCC funded settlement services. The statistical model will be validated against the data from the randomized controlled trials in the Career Pathways for Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot Project before it is applied to assess the intermediate and ultimate impacts of an IRCC initiative.

Start-end date: June 2020 - March 2025
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Surrey Intercultural Seniors Social Inclusion Partnership Network – Phase 2

The SISSIP Network is a collective impact initiative funded by Employment and Social Development Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. This community-based initiative is being implemented by six collaborating partners. Collectively, the Partners are committed to develop and implement culturally sensitive pilot initiatives to address social isolation issues in order to better integrate all seniors 55+ living in Surrey’s six town centres, one of Canada’s most diverse communities, with a particular focus on immigrant, seniors with disabilities, and Indigenous populations. More specifically, this collective impact strategy will address systemic barriers to social inclusion of vulnerable multicultural seniors. SRDC is conducting the evaluation of this initiative.

Start-end date: April 2020 - August 2024
Sponsor: Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society

Implementing a Virtual Recruitment and Assessment Centre for the Unionized Construction Industry

This project will develop a recruitment strategy integrating sectoral needs analysis, behavioural insights, and social marketing to reach underrepresented groups and increase their awareness, knowledge, and connection to the building trades. A social media based messaging strategy informed by how each of the targeted groups perceives benefits and barriers to entering the trades will connect prospective candidates to an innovative online assessment and matching platform which will help users determine their suitability, connect directly to a Building Trades union, and transition into the apprenticeship system with essential skills tutoring. Unions will help to inform the recruitment strategy and refine the assessment and matching process to ensure candidates have the skills and mentor/support networks to succeed. Phase II of the project will focus on optimization of user pathways and enhanced functionality and content of learning resources. As well, this phase will focus on customizing components to be more responsive to local conditions, recruitment challenges, and union-specific skills needs. Evidence on the effectiveness of these enhancements will be generated through a mixed methods approach, which will include both implementation research and an outcomes study to evaluate the success of the initiative.

Start-end date: April 2020 - September 2023
Sponsor: Future Skills Centre

Literature Review on effective labour market programs and services to assist youth and social assistance recipients to integrate into the labour market

ESDC has commissioned SRDC to undertake literature reviews of labour market programs that have been shown to be effective for integrating youth and social assistance recipients into the labour market. The focus is on recent (last five years) activation programs in Canada and OECD countries.

Start-end date: November 2019 - July 2020
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Building Capacity for Performance Measurement among Literacy and Essential Skills Practitioners

Following the completion of a comprehensive review and development of measurement options for Literacy and Essential Skills (LES) initiatives, SRDC is working with the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) to build an online platform to operationalize the recommendations and best practices in designing performance measurement instruments. This platform will represent a standardized and actionable navigation pathway to help LES practitioners and stakeholders choose and customize instruments aligned with their unique training objectives and service delivery contexts. With supports from OLES, we will engage with service delivery organizations to pilot-test the beta version of the platform, troubleshooting issues, and compiling user guides. The process will be done with a point of view toward long-term sustainability, ensuring that the platform can ultimately support the broader performance measurement strategy of the LES sector.

Start-end date: November 2019 - December 2021
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

Surrey Intercultural Seniors Social Inclusion Partnership Network

This Network is a collective impact initiative developed by the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) in collaboration with the City of Surrey’s Seniors Advisory and Accessibility Committee and its five collaboration partners. Collectively, the partners are committed to develop and implement culturally sensitive pilot initiatives to address social isolation issues in order to better integrate all seniors 55+ living in the Cities of Surrey and White Rock, with a particular focus on immigrant, seniors with disabilities, and Indigenous populations. As a first step in the process to better understand and address these issues, PICS is commissioning an environmental scan in order to obtain information for the needs assessment, and identify areas or gaps that are promising for developing new initiatives to address systemic barriers to social inclusion of vulnerable multicultural seniors 55+ across Surrey’s seven neighbourhoods in BC.

Start-end date: October 2019 - December 2019
Sponsor: Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society

Integrating Essential Skills Tools for Employment Counsellors

This project is being led by Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society (AWES) and is building, testing, and refining a training program for employment counsellors to integrate Essential Skills (ES) tools into their practice and services. The ES framework that will be tested during the project will include how to incorporate ES assessments, occupational profiles, complexity levels, and job task terminology related to skills. The project will also reinforce practice by including mentoring and support services to ensure quality as practitioners begin to integrate the ES framework and tools (including all nine Essential Skills) in all their services. As the developmental evaluation partner on the project, SRDC’s research activities are supporting the development process to ensure that the training is practical, delivers results, and has high chances of replication and adoption in diverse sectors and with different populations across Canada.

Start-end date: April 2019 - February 2024
Sponsor: Alberta Workplace Essential Skills Society (AWES)

Career Pathways for Racialized Newcomer Women

SRDC is carrying out a study to identify approaches and interventions to support programming for racialized newcomer women. The results from the study will help shape a three-year pilot with the aim to learn about new initiatives and to use the results to improve programs, policies, and practices for newcomers.

Start-end date: July 2018 - March 2023
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Connecting multi-barriered newcomers to the Canadian labour market

This project involves the design, delivery, and evaluation of a comprehensive package of employment services for the increasing numbers of refugees and other newcomers who have trouble transitioning from settlement to sustained employment. The program model augments traditional language training by offering a holistic suite of employment services including Essential Skill upgrading, technical training, work placement, and job retention support. A randomized control trial design is used to evaluate program impacts, by comparing the outcomes of those who are randomly assigned to receive the new suite of services with a control group who continue receiving existing services.

Start-end date: July 2018 - March 2021
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

EASIEST – Easier Access to Settlement, Integration, Employment and Skills Training

EASIEST is an innovative research and analysis project that places the newcomer experience at the centre of the design & delivery of settlement services. The overall goal of EASIEST is to help Immigrant Serving Organizations in BC deliver the most appropriate package of settlement services to newcomers at the right time and for the right duration to improve their settlement and integration outcomes. SRDC will use a Behavioural Insights (BI) approach to understand how and why newcomers access services. These insights will then be used to identify, design, and test behavioural strategies to improve services and address gaps. To do this project BI will be combined with a user-centric approach to explore services from the perspectives of newcomers so that innovations deliver services to newcomers that are easier to access, relevant, timely, and socially and culturally appropriate. A four-phase approach of discovery, diagnosis, design, and delivery will be used to bring about improvements in services and outcomes for newcomers, especially vulnerable groups. Findings will be used to support continuous improvement and disseminated widely to contribute to the goal of helping newcomers settle successfully in Canada.

Start-end date: July 2018 - March 2021
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Canadian Work Experience Pilots Evaluation: A Comparative Evaluation and Analysis

Immigration plays a critical role to Canada’s labour market and economic success. However, highly skilled newcomers to Canada face significant barriers trying to enter the labour market upon arrival. ESDC is addressing some of these barriers through the Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers (TESN). The TESN has three components, namely the Pre-arrival program; the FCR Loans Program; and the Canadian Work Experience Pilots, the subject of this evaluation, which tests innovative approaches to help skilled newcomers gain Canadian work experience in their professions. The purpose of this comprehensive evaluation of the Canadian Work Experience (CWE) pilot projects is to conduct a comparative analysis of the pilot sites in order to provide solid evidence on which to base Canadian work experience programs on. The findings of the two-year pilot program will be used to identify the most promising practices to resolve the issues around first Canadian work experience.

Start-end date: January 2018 - April 2020
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

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 - May 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