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Addressing Systemic Barriers to Work in Canada

A Randomized Control Trial of the In Motion & Momentum+ Program

Does pre-employment training help reduce dependence on social assistance among vulnerable community members? The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) led the development of In Motion & Momentum+ (IM&M+), a pre-employment program addressing this question. Professor Kroft and a research team are working with Blueprint to conduct a large-scale assessment of this program to see if it helps cut down reliance on social assistance.

“The CCDF and their partners are working with populations who have what we call low attachment to the labour market. For whatever reason, they tend not to feel that there is a place for them to work and improve their lives. As researchers, we’re following the interventions that are meant to help address that issue and other barriers they experience.”

Kory Kroft, Professor of Economics, University of Toronto.

The assessment is an ambitious one. Blueprint and FOS affiliates are working closely with CCDF to run a fulsome impact assessment of the program on participants’ skills and career outcomes. A randomized control trial (RCT) is being conducted through 12–14 organizations that deliver the program across five Canadian provinces. Data collected will compare the employment and career outcomes of 300 to 500 IM&M+ participants with those of people offered other kinds of employment services.

  • The 10-week-long program delivers three learning modules, each with a unique focus.
  • The first module introduces tools and methods that support the participants as they learn to identify and articulate their own strengths and assets, and then learn to set goals.
  • In the second module, participants apply their strengths and assets to a community project.
  • The final module supports participants in building an actionable plan toward achieving their goals.

The research team will also work with the data to do cost-tracking. This will allow researchers to compare the cost of the program delivery per participant and module to the cost of other programs.