The Indigenous Communities Public Works Pilot (ICPWP) Project shows promise to develop Indigenous talent for in-demand occupations

The ICPWP is an innovative, demand-driven, partnership-based approach to workforce development offering a career pathway to Indigenous participants in the public works sector.

The Okanagan Training and Development Council (OTDC) partnered with Westbank First Nation and Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) to co-develop and implement an industry recognized 22-week training program for Indigenous participants in the Okanagan. The program develops participants’ skills and competencies that align with qualifications for entry-level Public Works Technicians.

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), ICPWP was developed and delivered between July 2017 and March 2018 to 15 participants. The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation carried out an evaluation to determine whether the program model was feasible and suitable for wider implementation and testing, and to assess the training and employment outcomes of participants. Key findings of the pilot include:

  • The partnering organizations successfully implemented the ICPWP, which included the new ASTTBC Public Works Technician Certification Program
  • 93% of participants completed the program and met the requirements to be eligible for provisional membership for Registered Public Works Technicians
  • All program graduates were employed in relevant employment three months after the training ended
  • Participants expressed feelings of being connected with fellow students and high satisfaction with the training program, their short-term employment and other outcomes

The successful implementation of the program model in the pilot and the observed participant training and employment outcomes suggest the model shows promise to develop Indigenous talent for in-demand occupations and would benefit from further testing and a longer-term follow-up with participants. The results are expected to be used to further develop and improve the curriculum and program delivery.

The evaluation was jointly funded by ESDC and an anonymous donor.

To download a copy of the final report, click here.