Through our work with the Community Employment Loan Program, we realized that many Canadian employers didn’t need the incentive of a lower interest rate to hire those at a disadvantage – they just needed to see that using employment and training providers is a viable, competitive recruitment channel. We piloted innovative programs with a number of leading Canadian employers, achieving excellent interview-to-hire ratios. But we also saw retention in these programs fall short, due to the lack of required pre-employment training and post-hire support.
At this point, we’d learned two key things: (1) Employers would utilize the employment and training system if it was easy and efficient for them; and (2) It isn’t easy or efficient. The reason is that the system at large has never been designed to see the employer as a customer. We realized we were playing a band-aid role and could have more impact if we worked at the systems level.
And so, in 2012, we expanded our focus to demand-led systems change. To find better ways of preparing job seekers to meet employer needs, we are bringing employers to the heart of the system, inviting them as partners in the design, delivery, and evaluation of training and development programs.