On-reserve Labour Market Information Survey and Skills Inventory Pilot
There is a significant gap in Labour Market Information for people living on reserves in Canada. This Pilot project will improve the detail and timeliness of labour force information for on-reserve First Nations (FN) communities towards reducing the skills and employment gaps between First Nations and non-indigenous Canadians, through co-development.
The components to the Innovation are:
1.Annual survey of the entire on-reserve population 15 years or older
2.Skills inventory to support skills development and job matching
3.Ongoing administrative data modelling to validate and augment survey results
• The Federal Government’s statistics and data collection department, Statistics Canada, does not conduct the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) on reserves, and the Census is conducted every five years. Therefore, there is a significant gap in labour market information (LMI) about the on-reserve* population.
• A lack of Indigenous LMI in general, and on-reserve in particular, has implications on federal policy development, program design, and decision-making. For instance, without a clear understanding of the labour market situation on reserves, Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) conducted by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) may not fully take the potential availability of Indigenous workers into consideration before approving an employer’s request to hire temporary foreign workers, in a particular location.
• To help address the particular issue of lack of on-reserve labour market information, in Budget 2015, the Government announced $12 M over six years ($2M per year) from 2016-2017 to 2021-2022 to test processes, tools and supports for improving the level of detail and timeliness of labour force information for on-reserve communities.
The key elements of the Pilot include:
• Co-development: Pilot design and implementation is based on consultation, advice and guidance from participating First Nations community service delivery organisations.
Capacity Building: The survey is being conducted for the first time by First Nations communities for the benefit of First Nations communities, which supports a renewed Nation-to-Nation relationship and the spirit of self-determination. Through training and ongoing implementation supports, the Pilot will help increase capacity in FNs communities to develop and manage information about their on-reserve labour force.
• A multi-stakeholder working group that includes First Nations communities, other federal government departments, provinces and the Assembly of First Nations provides project guidance in the spirit of co-development.
• ESDC entered into a Contribution Agreement with an expert Indigenous firm (Aboriginal Employment Services Inc.) with expertise in data collection, surveys and program evaluation to lead the development of survey methodology, questionnaire and progress report; and provide training and supports to community organisations.
*Under the Indian Act of 1876, “the term reserve means any tract or tracts of land set apart by treaty or otherwise for the use or benefit of or granted to a particular band of Indians of which legal title is in the Crown”
What Makes Your Project Innovative?
•The Government of Canada is working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. This is an innovative project where ESDC is partnering with on-reserve First Nations (FNs) communities to co-develop and co-implement the Pilot.
•All participating FNs community members, aged 15 years and over, living on reserves are being invited to participate in the survey. Data is being collected, retained and used by First Nations communities for the benefit of First Nations communities.
•Capacity building is a key feature of the innovation. FNs communities are provided with funding, training and ongoing supports to collect, manage and use their own data.
•Development of skills inventories strengthens FNs community organisations’ ability to provide labour market services to community members and help match them with available jobs. Data modelling enriches the results.
What is the current status of your innovation?
• The survey is currently being implemented with 10 Indigenous Skills and Employment Training (ISET) Program Agreement Holder (AH) organisations, representing 44 First Nations communities, with preliminary results being generated over Spring 2019.
• An initial analysis was conducted to assess the data quality and identify issues with the questionnaire that may need to be addressed.
• There is a continuous improvement process involving monitoring use of survey tools and processes and testing of data quality, and adjusting the process as required based on lessons learned, to ensure it meets the needs of participating communities.
Collaborations & Partnerships
•Engagement sessions were held with over 15 First Nations community organizations to discuss the benefits of participating in the Pilot.
•Job Bank officials were invited to the engagement sessions to explain to the FNs communities the benefits of using Job Bank feeds and tools to connect individuals to skills training and available jobs.
•Held discussions with Assembly of First Nations (AFN) (representing over 900,000 people living in 634 First Nations communities) to confirm their support.
Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
• A multi-stakeholder Working Group consisting of ESDC officials from different program areas, 10 participating community service delivery organisations, AFN, other federal Government departments and Provincial Government officials provide guidance and direction on development of tools and processes for the Pilot.
• An Indigenous firm leads development of survey tools, methodologies and training of community surveyors, and provides on-going support to FN communities.
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
• Overall, the quality of the data collected to date is very good. This suggests the protocols and approaches are effective. This includes good initial and post-survey screening and follow-up to identify and challenges.
• There is a strong interest in the Pilot, with more communities wanting to participate than is possible with available funds.
• Outcomes of the Pilot will include:
o Improved LMI available and used by communities for skills training, job matching, employment supports and community development; and used by ESDC for policy and program design.
o Improved partnerships between employers and ISET Program agreement holders towards skills training and job matching.
• Results of the pilot will be made public at the end of the initiative, in 2023.
• The data modeling by StatsCan will supplement the on-reserve LMI survey with Census data and CRA data, and will help validate the results of the survey and skills inventories.
Challenges and Failures
•To ensure standardization and robust implementation of the methodology across all participating FNs communities, on-going review and training is being undertaken through a co-development and co-implementation lens.
•The report on the findings from the survey will be reviewed by an independent expert reviewer, ESDC, and the working group.
•Follow-up work to incorporate lessons learned will be undertaken on an annual basis to address challenges and develop strategies for continuous improvement.
Conditions for Success
•Work with stakeholders to define the problem and develop the solutions.
•Co-development with communities from the beginning has been fundamental to the success. This includes project planning and identifying roles and responsibilities.
•Ongoing communication and stakeholder involvement including holding quarterly Working Group meetings to discuss implementation, challenges, lessons learned and successes to date.
•Making linkages to other programs and services to enhance results. For example, coordinating engagement between participating community organizations and Job Bank experts to facilitate Job Bank Feeds into the communities and the training on the use of Job Bank tools to help integrate clients into the labour force.
•No, the innovation has not yet been replicated.
•The goal is to test survey processes and tools that will permit reserve community organisations across Canada to collect, maintain and use their labour force data in ways that will help improve economic outcomes.
•An element of the pilot is to demonstrate the feasibility to expand beyond the pilot communities in an ongoing manner.
•Capacity building in the form of training and implementation supports is a key element for obtaining buy-in of communities.
•A continuous improvement process involving monitoring and testing of data and adjusting the process as needed is key. For example, the survey questionnaire is reviewed throughout the implementation to ensure it meets the needs of participating First Nations communities.