Current and Completed Projects:
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
Increasing Pathways to Employment
Funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery Fund, Women in Resource Development Corporation (WRDC) is leading a project to advance inclusive skills development policies and practices to remove barriers that prevent women’s full participation. This project includes a partnership with the Canadian Career Development Foundation, the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Community Employment Collaboration, and SRDC. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified systemic and longstanding inequalities, with women disproportionately impacted by the crisis. Women have faced job losses and reduced work hours, shouldered the majority of the additional unpaid care responsibilities at home, and continue to be on the front lines of the pandemic. A feminist response and recovery includes accelerating women’s education and training to increase participation in higher paying, more secure careers. However, women are disproportionately impacted by inflexible training policies and practices that do not recognize their realities of under-employment and precarious employment, caretaking responsibilities, and other barriers they face in accessing pathways into professional and technology-based industries. This project centers the experience of women and of service providers using co-design methods to identify persistent and emerging barriers amplified by COVID-19, change systems, and accelerate progress on women’s equality.
Start-end date: December 2021 - March 2024
Sponsor: Women in Resource Development Corporation
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
Learning outside together: Incorporating traditional wisdom and promising practices to futureproof child care programs
This project aims to increase knowledge and skills among early care and learning (ECL) professionals related to outdoor play and to the Indigenous practices and educational concepts of “land as teacher”. Key activities include developing an online training and mentorship program, recruiting participants from across BC, and implementing and evaluating the resulting program. ECL programs face barriers to spending more time outdoors due to licensing requirements, available physical space, and lack of supportive workplace policies. Thus, one goal of the project is to support participants, via mentors, to enable them to work through implementation barriers. The legacy goal is to generate evidence, through the project evaluation, that demonstrates the effectiveness of the project’s approaches. This evidence would be used to inform, support, and sustain implementation of these approaches long after the initial funding period has ended. This two-year project is a joint partnership between the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC), the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS), and SRDC.
Start-end date: April 2021 - March 2023
Sponsor: Early Childhood Educators of BC
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
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
Status Report on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the Faculty of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) is currently developing its future action plan on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the institution. In order to identify courses of action and set priorities for this plan, SRDC has been mandated to establish the current state of affairs in terms of faculty representativeness in order to draw recommendations to promote EDI that will be relevant for the EDI Institutional Committee and other stakeholders at UQTR. This inventory includes the quantitative measurement of vertical and horizontal representation and organizational structure (groups recognized as under-represented – Indigenous persons, visible minorities, people from the LGBTQ2S+ community, people with disabilities, women), the measurement of barriers related to the retention and career progression of faculty members (as indicated in the NSERC Dimensions Charter) and the collection of suggestions and recommendations from faculty members related to EDI.
Start-end date: December 2020 - July 2021
Sponsor: Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Evaluation of the Girls' Fund
Since 2006, the Canadian Women’s Foundation’s Girls’ Fund has supported dynamic programs and networks for girls aged 9-13, investing in programming where girls can develop critical thinking, leadership, and relationship-building skills. In its most recent grant cycle, the Canadian Women’s Foundation selected 19 organizations to run multi-year funded projects, with a particular emphasis on programming for girls facing multiple barriers. These include girls programming, mentorship programs, and national or regional networks.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation is interested in leveraging strategic learning to support grantees’ projects, as well as maximize impact at individual, program, and sector levels. In partnership with the Foundation and grantees, SRDC is designing and implementing an evaluation strategy for the Girls’ Fund, grounded in an intersectional feminist, anti-oppression, and participatory approach. This will include developing and deploying youth surveys, conducting interviews with grantees, reviewing grantee program reports, authoring annual issues briefs, and supporting knowledge mobilization and capacity development.
Start-end date: October 2020 - August 2024
Sponsor: Canadian Women’s Foundation
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.
Start-end date: April 2020 - March 2022
Sponsor: Future Skills Centre
Formative evaluation of HR Tech Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Tech Project
SRDC is undertaking a formative evaluation of HR Tech Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Tech Project, part of a Sector Labour Market Partnerships contribution agreement supported by B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. HR Tech Group will pilot four components: diversity and inclusion training, a B.C. technology sector online hub, a diversity and inclusion reporting mechanism, and a promotion and attraction campaign. The goal of the pilot projects is to improve diversity and inclusion in the province’s Technology sector workforce. The purpose of the projects is to increase the attraction, retention and advancement of women, Indigenous peoples, persons with diverse abilities, newcomers to Canada, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ/S2 and all under-represented groups in skilled occupations within the sector through the implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies to recruit, retain and support career development in these professions.
Start-end date: June 2019 - July 2021
Sponsor: HR Tech Group
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)
Evaluation of the Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology in BC Pilot Project
Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology is a two-year pilot project designed to develop recruitment opportunities and improve retention for women in engineering and technology sectors. Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC, in partnership with the Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC, are delivering this project that will implement diversity and inclusion strategies to increase recruitment, retention, and provide career development to women to lead to a system-level cultural shift within these professions in BC. SRDC has been commissioned to design and conduct the evaluation of the pilot. The project is funded through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program.
Start-end date: February 2019 - April 2021
Sponsor: Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC
Sector-led Evaluation of the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy in British Columbia
The Province of B.C. is making a $136 million investment in an Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy (R&R Strategy) for B.C.’s Early Childhood Educator (ECE) sector. This sector-led evaluation is part of a larger 10-year plan to increase the quality and availability of childcare spaces in B.C. The evaluation project will help provide continuous feedback for strategies that are implemented. SRDC is helping to develop a framework that will assess the effectiveness of the R&R Strategy. Evaluation questions include: whether there is less turnover in the skilled Early Care and Learning workforce; whether the numbers of certified Early Childhood Educators are better able to meet demand; whether careers in Early Care and Learning become more popular; and whether public confidence in Early Care and Learning is increasing.
Generally, these outcomes are being measured as trends across the Early Care and Learning system in B.C. Evaluation methods include: cross-sectional surveys of providers of early childhood education and care in B.C., and their employees; creating and maintaining a unique database of the province’s providers to include licensed and unlicensed, registered and unregistered carers; public opinion surveys; media and social media analysis; key informant interviews; analysis of micro-data from the 2016 Census; and compilation and analysis of administrative data. SRDC is collecting, analyzing, and reporting on these measures to determine whether the R&R Strategy is on track to achieving its long-term goals and expected outcomes until 2022. A sector steering committee made up of individuals involved in B.C. childcare will guide the work. The project is being led by the Early Childhood Educators of BC, with funding and approvals of project deliverables through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
Start-end date: December 2018 - July 2022
Sponsor: Early Childhood Educators of BC
An innovative model to enhance entry, advancement, and employment outcomes of women apprentices
This project aims to support the entry, retention, and advancement of women in the skilled construction trades. The model will include a series of support services and mentorship opportunities for women seeking or already employed in the skilled trades as well as a number of supports for employers, based on a successful approach used by the Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA) in Newfoundland and Labrador. Services will be provided for at least 750 apprentices and tradeswomen in the provinces of Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The project is being led by Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU), along with their provincial partners, the Office to Advance Women Apprentices, and the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC). SRDC will be responsible for the research and evaluation strategy, including an outcomes study to measure the effects of the program on participating women in trades and their employers as well as an implementation study to explore best practices. The project will run for three and a half years from December 2018 to May 2022.
Start-end date: December 2018 - May 2022
Sponsor: Canada’s Building Trades Unions
Career pathways for visible minority newcomer women
SRDC is carrying out a study to identify approaches and interventions to support programming for visible minority 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 2022
Sponsor: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Evaluation of the BC Centre for Women in the Trades
The BC Centre for Women in the Trades is created to address workforce retention priorities for tradeswomen, supporting their career advancement and retention in the building trades. It was launched in 2018 with funding for two years. SRDC will be conducting the evaluation. The goal of the evaluation is to measure the effects of the program activities and, specifically, to assess the three program components: outreach and mentorship for tradeswomen, shifting the culture through leadership development and training, and building workforce diversity through organizational capacity building. The BC Federation of Labour is implementing the Centre in partnership with the BC Building Trades, the BC Tradeswomen Society, Construction Labour Relations, and the BC LNG Alliance.
Start-end date: June 2018 - April 2020
Sponsor: B.C. Federation of Labour
Development of Business Case for Work Integrated Learning in Mining
This project is outlining the business case for work-integrated learning in the mining industry through interviews with industry stakeholders and secondary research on the benefits of work-integrated learning in mining and other sectors.
Start-end date: March 2018 - June 2018
Sponsor: Mining Industry Human Resources Council
Advancing Women's Heart Health Evaluation
A general lack of awareness of how heart disease and stroke present differently in women and men is compounded by knowledge gaps among health professionals, leading to a predominantly male model of research and care. In response, Heart & Stroke – with support from Health Canada – has developed the Advancing Women’s Heart Health Project. Through leadership, research, partnership, and capacity building, this project aims to change the way in which heart health research is funded, conducted, and applied in Canada so that it accounts for gender and racial disparities and redresses health inequities. SRDC has been hired to develop a logic model and frameworks for performance measurement and evaluation, as well as data collection tools and an analysis plan for this initiative.
Start-end date: March 2017 - February 2021
Sponsor: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Development of a performance measurement framework for a women in trades initiative
SRDC is developing a performance measurement framework and an evaluation strategy for a women in trades initiative on behalf of BuildForce Canada. The project will see the development, implementation, and evaluation of a tool for employers and online training for staff to support diversity policies and respectful workplaces.
Start-end date: January 2017 - March 2017
Sponsor: BuildForce Canada
Women in Trades – Implementation Options and Recommended Pilot Projects
Following the completion of a comprehensive needs analysis for women in BC’s skilled trades, SRDC held a facilitated workshop to present and discuss its findings with a series of industry, union, and government stakeholders. Based on the research results and stakeholder input, SRDC is preparing a series of recommended pilot projects for the implementation and evaluation of women in trades programming for British Columbia.
Start-end date: January 2017 - February 2017
Needs Analysis for Mentoring and Support Services for Women in the Trades
Women are consistently underrepresented in the skilled building trades. While efforts have been made to encourage women to enter the trades as a career option, significant challenges remain for those already in the trades and retention rates are low. The BC Government aims to develop a support system for women in skilled trades including networking and mentorship training to support new apprentices. This project lays the ground work for development of these services by exploring the challenges faced by women in the skilled trades and the kinds of supports that would help improve retention. The research includes a series of focus groups across the province with women currently in the skilled trades, both union and non-union, and with a sample of women who have recently left the trades. Consultations are conducted with employers to explore their hiring decisions.
Government of British Columbia news release
Start-end date: May 2016 - December 2016
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
House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women
To provide expert advice on the consequences and effects the current Employment Insurance program has on women in Canada.
Start-end date: April 2009 - April 2009
Sponsor: House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women