Chapter 5: Recommendations

Official title: Evaluation of the Labour Market Development Agreements

A total of 9 recommendations emerge from the evaluation findings. They are as follows:

  • The study on the timing of Employment Assistance Services participation showed that receiving assistance early after starting an EI claim can lead to better labour market impacts. However, key informants repeatedly reported a lack of awareness about the program.
    • Recommendation 1: Consideration should be given to providing provinces/territories with timely access to data on new EI recipients for supporting targeting and increasing awareness.
    • Recommendation 2: Since ESDC has access to Records of Employment and EI data, it should explore what active role it could play in raising program awareness among new EI recipients.
  • Key informants reported that lack of essential skills, learning disabilities and literacy issues are common barriers to accessing and completing training.
    • Recommendation 3: Consideration should be given to remove barriers to accessing and completing training such as literacy/essential skills training and learning disability assessments. The measures would help individuals with multiple barriers to prepare for vocational training and to reintegrate the labour market. The measures should be reported separately from other Skills Development interventions given their unique objectives.
  • Incremental impact results show that Targeted Wage Subsidies is improving the earnings and employment of participants. However, its use has been falling over the years. According to key informants, the decline is related to employers not using the program due to the administrative processes, lack of awareness about the program and difficulty in finding suitable candidates.
    • Recommendation 4: P/Ts should explore ways of removing barriers to employer participation in Targeted Wage Subsidies.
  • Key informants confirmed the necessity of having labour market information to support the delivery of Employment Assistance Services. They, however, pointed to the difficulty of accessing or producing labour market information at the regional/local level.
    • Recommendation 5: Consideration should be given to enhance the capacity of service providers to access or produce, when needed, relevant labour market information.
  • The evaluation was not able to produce a conclusive assessment of Self-Employment effectiveness and efficiency since the data used to assess impacts on earnings may not be the best source of information available to reflect the financial wellbeing of the participants. As well, little is known about the design and delivery of this program. Overall, it is not clear whether participant’s success in improving their labour market attachment through self-employment is more closely associated with their business idea and their entrepreneurship skills than the assistance provided under Self-Employment.
    • Recommendation 6: Consideration should be given to examine in more detail the design and delivery of Self-Employment and whether the performance indicators for this program are appropriate.
  • Job Creation Partnerships was found to be particularly effective at improving earnings and incidence of employment of active claimants. However, the evaluation has not yet examined the design and delivery of this program. Therefore, a lot remains unknown about how this program operates and the factors that contribute to its effectiveness.
    • Recommendation 7: Consideration should be given to examine the design and delivery of Job Creation Partnerships in order to better understand how this program operates.
  • Overall, the LMDA evaluation was able to produce a sound assessment of EBSM effectiveness and efficiency because the team had access to rich data on EI claimants, EBSM participation data and Canada Revenue Agency taxation files. However, some data gaps limited the evaluation’s ability to assess how EBSMs operate.
    • Recommendation 8: Improvements in the data collection is recommended to address key program and policy questions of interest to the federal and provincial/territorial governments. Specifically:
      • Mandatory reporting of the highest level of education as part of the EI claim application.
      • Collect data on whether participants are members of designated groups including Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and recent immigrants.
      • Collect data on the type of training funded under Skills Development and the type of assistance provided under Employment Assistance Services. ESDC should work with P/Ts to define common categories for both EBSMs.
      • Collect detailed data on the cost of interventions.
      • ESDC should consider securing access to provincial/territorial social assistance records in order to enrich the administrative data with patterns of social assistance use for participants and non-participants.
  • The data assessment process revealed some gaps regarding data quality and integrity. These documented gaps can be addressed by defining clear roles and responsibilities.
    • Recommendation 9: Considerations should be given to assign responsibility for a specific unit within ESDC to manage data integrity, including validating data uploads and documenting changes over time.
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