Canadian Research Working Group

Research at Work...

Presentations have been made at provincial, national, and international conferences, describing our evaluation framework and some of the initial field-testing that has been done. These have been received enthusiastically and it seems to us that people in the field are eager to embrace the ideas and try to implement them in their work settings.

Measuring the Impact of LMI

In partnership with the Canadian Career Development Foundation, the CRWG completed  a research project to examine the impact of tailored labour market information and targeted professional advice on client outcomes.  The research questions studied were:

If client needs are assessed and clients are given LMI tailored to meet their needs:

  1. to what extent is independent self-help a sufficient process in order for clients to use LMI effectively? and
  2. to what extent does assistance by a service provider enhance their effective use of LMI?

All clients in the study (n=203) received a needs assessment interview and an LMI package specific to their employability need.  Half the sample worked independently for 3 weeks while the other half of the sample received two short interviews focused on resolving any client issues related to using the LMI and/or referring clients to additional LMI as needed.

The dependent measures in the study were:

  • General ability to use LMI
  • Knowledge
    • Clear vision of a career future
    • Knowledge of print and online resources
    • Skill
      • Strategies to stay motivated
      • Having a realistic action plan
      • Personal Attributes
        • Optimism about meeting career goals
        • Confidence in ability to handle future transitions

Working in partnership with the governments of Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, the anglophone study demonstrated not only statistically significant, but also clinically important results.  Client change was consistent in knowledge and skill acquisition as well as changes in personal attributes including self-efficacy and optimism.  Assisted clients achieved greater change across time than independent clients although both increased significantly. The study was repeated with francophone clients in New Brunswick. Again results were statistically significant and clinically important.   In the francophone study, the Assisted Career Decision Making clients made the strongest progress and more clients indicated their preference to work with a practitioner rather than independently.  80% of clients attributed their changes to participation in the program.  Practitioners who participated in the research reported, in follow-up interviews, positive changes in how they work with LMI with clients.  The resources developed for the project have become part of regular service delivery in both provinces.  These included take-home client LMI Booklets as well as LMI Resource Guides.  Much of the content is generic and readily transferable to other provinces and territories.