Presentation on theme: "Essential Skills and Vulnerable Groups Dr. Marion E. Jones, Economics, University of Regina Dr. John R. Graham, Social Work, University of Calgary."— Presentation transcript:
Essential Skills and Vulnerable Groups Dr. Marion E. Jones, Economics, University of Regina Dr. John R. Graham, Social Work, University of Calgary Andy Wong, Grad. School of Public Policy, University of Regina Brenna Atnikov, Social Work, University of Calgary Bonnie Morton, Regina Antipoverty Ministry Dianne Luxton, DECSA
Introduction and Overview 73 Case Study Interviews, 5 focus groups divided between Calgary and Regina Vulnerable Groups Single Parents Indigenous Disabled (Physical, Mental, Addictions)
Key Divisions Single versus Multiple Characteristics Working versus Non-working
Themes Individualization Credentialism Intersectionality Human Capital – Necessary or Sufficient? Life skills – job readiness Healing and tipping points
Single Parents Homogeneity – only a binding constraint on people with multiple characteristics Chiefly interacts with / impinges upon labour flexibility Access to good child care and early learning centre places would alleviate these issues Also interacts importantly with transporation
Indigenous Residential school legacy and negative social capital and violence Seasonality of availability for employment Cultural status a barrier to employment – culture – gender nexus Self-esteem and tipping points crucial to cutting the Gordian knot of unemployment and welfare dependency Integrated approach
The Essential Skills Reading Writing Mathematics Computer Use Document Use Formal Communication Oral Communication Working with Others Thinking and Problem Solving
TOWES Credentialism Risks Opportunity Problems with pen and paper test Discrimination Anxiety
Educational Attainment Key differentiating variable Single characteristics higher educational attainment than multiple Employed have a higher educational attainment than those on welfare or in training Human capital – key? - level?
Reading Employed group reads more frequently than non-employed group, and more of them find reading easy. Single characteristic group reads more frequently and has greater ease of reading than those with multiple characteristics Differences are relatively small
Writing Those with multiple characteristics are much more likely to write daily than those with single characteristics (correlation with high likelihood of being in a training program) No meaningful differences in ease and frequency of writing between employed and non-employed groups.
Mathematics For either bisection of the respondents there is little difference in the frequency of using Mathematics Those in the multiple characteristic group and those in the non-employed group are both much more likely to find mathematics difficult than the single characteristic and employed groups
Computer Use Almost all respondents had experience and training with computers Most participants had difficulty articulating what was included in their computer training courses Employed and single groups are more likely to use computers daily, but are also more likely to find using computers difficult
Document Use Employed respondents were more likely to be familiar with document use than non-employed respondents Single characteristic respondents were much more likely to be familiar with document use than multiple characteristic respondents
Formal Communication Most respondents, regardless of characteristics were rarely engaged in formal communications Single characteristic respondents were noticeably more likely to engage in formal communication as were those in the employed group
Oral Communications A slim majority of the employed and single characteristic groups had no trouble with oral communications A slim majority of the non-employed and multiple characteristic groups had difficulty with oral communications
Working with Others The frequency of working with others was identical for single and multiple characteristic groups, but the multiple group had less difficulty working with others. The employed group is much more likely to work with others, and finds it easier to do so.
Thinking and Problem Solving These are exceedingly difficult traits to assess without a formal pen and paper or group project assessment, and therefore is omitted from our discussion. There were no meaningful differences in frequency or ease of thinking between the various groups.
Summary – Essential Skills Obvious that essential skills as defined by HRSDC are not particularly meaningful in explaining the labour market attachment status and experience of vulnerable peoples. There are other not easily quantifiable or generalizable factors that explain employment status and experience among these groups.
Tipping Points Catalysts for change amongst the hard to employ
Congnition New Perspective
Cognition Past Influences my Present
Behaviour Tipping Point Applying what I learn to life
Behaviour Having new ways of interacting with the world and people I am better able to build positive social support and social capital
Issues External to Me Fit the mould employees
Issues External to Me Challenges of Difference
Issues External to Me Unrealistic Expectations
Issues External to Me Transportation
Conclusions Implications for Scholarship Implications for Practitioners Implications for Policy Makers