Project Researchers

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Project Description

Developing Skills, Building Relationships: The Social and Employment outcomes of ISANS’ Immigrant Youth Employability Program

Partnered with the Immigrant Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), this multi-method study focuses on ISANS’ Immigrant Youth Employability (IYE) Program. IYE is an innovative 30-week newcomer youth employment program offering classroom learning (300-hours) and on-the-job training (600-hours) across a range of sectors. Providing financial and supplemental (ex. child care, safety gear, additional specialized training) resources for program participants, ISANS has supported 108 predominantly refugee youth to overcome employment-related barriers through IYE since 2016. Though anecdotally evidenced, IYE’s success has not been systematically demonstrated. Generating qualitative and quantitative data, we will provide a robust account of IYE, its outcomes, and benefits, while identifying ways it can be strengthened. Such a project is timely as IYE nears completion of its first funding cycle.

More precisely, we aim to address the following:

  • Who are IYE participants (youth and employers); what are their rationale for participating?
  • What are the experiences of youth and employer participants of IYE?
  • From the vantage point of youth participants, but also as reflected in their employment trajectory, what is the impact of IYE on labour market integration Are participants satisfied with IYE?
  • How can IYE be improved for future learners?

To answer these, we will use three data collection methods:

  1. A close-read of existing ISANS’ IYE (enrollment and evaluation) data will offer insight into who exactly participates in IYE, corresponding to age, gender, place-of-origin, legal status at arrival, language proficiency, educational background (and interruptions), previous employment experience, and family configuration.
  2. Circulated (via email) to all 108 IYE youth participants, an Opinio survey will provide quantitative data on participant perception of IYE effectiveness vis-à-vis their employment in Nova Scotia, and will trace their employment trajectories before, during, and after Program completion.
  3. Interviews with youth participants (30), employers (20), and key IYP stakeholders at ISANS (5) will provide qualitative detail into IYE, its benefits and outcomes, as well as insight into how the Program can be improved.