Summary: Evaluation of the Canada – Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement

Summary: Evaluation of the Canada – Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement
Third evaluation cycle: 2018 to 2023

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Program objectives

The Canada-Ontario Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) is a bilateral agreement between Canada and Ontario for the design and delivery of Employment Benefits and Support Measures (EBSMs). The objective of EBSMs is to assist individuals to prepare for, obtain or keep employment.

The following benefits and measures are examined in the evaluation.

Skills Development helps participants obtain employment skills by giving them financial assistance in order to select, arrange and pay for training.

Job Placement with Incentive helps participants obtain on-the-job work experience by providing employers with a wage subsidy.

Ontario Job Creation Partnerships support projects that provide eligible participants with opportunities to gain meaningful work experience while providing community benefit.

Employment Assistance Services support individuals as they prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce or assist them to find a better job. Services can include job search services, career development and counselling, and résumé writing assistance.

Labour Market Partnerships assist employers, communities and/or industries to address their labour force adjustments and human resource needs by enabling employers, employee or employer associations, community groups, and communities to work together to develop or implement strategies.

Research and Innovation supports innovation in the employment and training system and the exploration of new ways to provide employment and training supports for job seekers, workers and employers including for those not currently supported through the LMDA.

The LMDA investment

In fiscal year 2020 to 2021, Canada transferred $741 million to Ontario.

Evaluation objectives

Building on previous LMDA evaluation cycles, the aim of this evaluation is to fill in knowledge gaps about the effectiveness, efficiency, as well as design and delivery of EBSMs in Ontario.

Evaluation methodology

The findings are drawn from 7 separate evaluation studies that use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, including:

The incremental impacts are estimated for 2 types of Employment Insurance (EI) claimants:

Key findings

Participation in most EBSMs improved labour market attachment and reduced dependence on government income support compared to similar non-participants. This excludes former claimants who participated in Skills Development.

A subgroup analyses shows that, with some exceptions:

Over time, the benefits accrued by participants and the governments exceed the initial cost of investment in Job Placement with Incentive, Ontario Job Creation Partnerships and Employment Assistance Service. However, it takes 19.1 years to recover the initial investment in Skills Development for active claimants.Footnote 1 The investment in Skills Development for former claimants may not be recovered.

The evaluation also found that:


The evaluation made 2 recommendations.

Recommendation # 1: Ontario is encouraged to share and discuss lessons learned, best practices and challenges associated with the design and delivery of programs and services. Discussions are encouraged with ESDC, at the bilateral or multilateral levels as well as with service delivery network if necessary.

Recommendation # 2: Ontario is encouraged to pursue efforts to maintain and strengthen data collection provisions in support of reporting, performance measurement and data-driven evaluations at the national and provincial levels.

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