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Synergy: Workforce Development for Vulnerable Women to Succeed

Published on 08/06/2020 by YWCA Canada

YWCA Canada is pleased to announce the awarded funding by Future Skills Centre to undertake the Project Synergy: Workforce Development for Vulnerable Women to Succeed. This is part of a three-year national participatory research and knowledge mobilization project addressing the unique challenges of labour market access for vulnerable women in Canada. Synergy will pilot, evaluate, and share three promising workforce development practices aimed at building social resilience among vulnerable women.

The promising practices will be piloted in ten sites across Canada with a sample of 1,000 direct service users who will help fine-tune and prove the practices’ saliency. Qualitative and quantitative data will inform:

  • Improved services for women across the country that takes a holistic, person-centered approach to workforce development.
  • Three national employment roundtables comprised of public, private and civil stakeholders to explore strategies for operationalizing the promising practices;
  • The development of online training modules, case studies, and infographics focused on each promising practice geared for both employment service providers as well as employers; and
  • YWCA program standards and practices.

The Future Skills Centre funding will be used to implement these promising practices in four of the ten local YWCAs: YWCA Moncton, YWCA Sudbury, YWCA Thompson, and YWCA Regina. This project will provide more robust programming for member associations that implement promising practices and complete online training. It will center the voices and experiences of service users in interventions to improve access to gainful employment.

“We are more than happy to be collaborating with Future Skills Centre for the Synergy project. It is essential to include all women in the workforce and allow them to access gainful employment. Improving labour market access for vulnerable women cannot be about upgrading skills only; rather, it is also about providing the most effective supports and interventions that address the barriers.” Maya Roy, CEO YWCA Canada.

Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, says advancing gender equity in the labour market is a perfect example of projects FSC is investing in to build an inclusive workforce  that looks not only at upgrading skills but also provides supports and interventions addressing barriers.

“These pilots that elevate practices aimed at advancing gender equity in the labour market will go a long way to addressing systemic discrimination that creates inequalities in the workforce and further build social resilience,” says Barata.

About YWCA Canada

YWCA Canada is a leading voice for women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender diverse people. For 150 years, we’ve been at the forefront of a movement: to fight gender-based violence, build affordable housing and advocate for workplace equity. We work to advance gender equity by responding to urgent needs in communities, through national advocacy and grassroots initiatives. Today, we engage young leaders, diverse communities, and corporate partners to achieve our vision of a safe and equitable Canada for all.

About Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre is dedicated to helping Canadians gain the skills they need to thrive in the changing workforce. It is a pan-Canadian initiative, connecting ideas and innovations generated across Canada so that employees and employers can succeed in the labour market, and ensure that local, regional, and national economies thrive.

Contact: For more information about the program, please contact Sydney Piggott at spiggott@ywcacanada.ca or 416-962-8881 ext. 225.

The Synergy project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

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