Employment & Training Programs and Services

Published Date: June 04, 2007
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Workforce Partnerships

Labour Market Partnerships (LMP) Program

AUTHORITY

Labour Market Development Agreement

BACKGROUND/PRINCIPLES

Labour Market Partnerships (LMP) is a program element under the Workforce Partnerships Program. It is intended to enhance workplace human resource development and labour market adjustment strategies through community partnerships. The LMP program is designed to identify, develop and support projects with industry, organizations and community groups with common labour market needs.

Effective collaboration among community partners improves the capacity of stakeholders to deal with human resource requirements and to implement labour force adjustments. It contributes to the development of the labour market, which in turn, may result in an improved balance between the supply and demand as well as economic growth on a regional and/or provincial level.

At a provincial level, community partnerships most often occur within industry associations/groups to stimulate coordinated labour market activity. At a regional level, community partnerships build on capacities and strengths of the people who live in the community.

The objectives of the LMP program are:

  • to encourage, support and facilitate human resource planning and labour market adjustments.
  • to promote industry/community involvement and community capacity building in order to address labour market needs.
  • to develop and promote labour market intelligence and its use in labour market development.

The LMP program also contributes to broader departmental and cross-ministry objectives including the development of a strong and diversified workforce to ensure Alberta employers can maintain a competitive advantage.

POLICY

Eligible Projects

The range of projects possible through the LMP program will vary, but they must:

  • support activities which address a labour market need,
  • involve a partnership, and
  • be finite (i.e. project-specific).

Although there are no restrictions on the quantity of LMP contracts with any given partner, each project should demonstrate an objective and define specific outcomes and timeframes. These project-specific objectives and outcomes must be achievable within the confines of the contract and not be reliant on future contracts for success.

When reviewing LMP proposals pertaining to the development of an information/education product, Alberta Human Services staff should consult with the Executive Director of the Alberta Works Programs Branch to inquire about duplication of products already available through Human Services and/or in the community.

Examples of activities that may be considered include:

Research and Analysis to:

  • conduct a labour market environmental scan,
  • develop profiles of the unemployed,
  • identify labour market trends,
  • analyze potential training needs and employment opportunities within a community or industry sector,
  • create labour market profiles to anticipate and prepare for future prospects,
  • track or assess labour market or community interventions, and
  • address the announcement of the eventual closure of a major community employer including: the assessment of employment trends in the community; determining the net impact of the closure on the labour market; developing a profile of threatened employees; and producing recommendations for labour market adjustment solutions.

Planning to:

  • assist a community or industry sector with the development of a strategic plan to prepare for future skill requirements and/or prevent skill shortage,
  • develop an industry-based human resource plan to ensure employee skills are maintained, and
  • conduct a human resource planning initiative.

Promotion to:

  • address a current labour market need,
  • heighten awareness of labour market issues such as skill shortage through the dissemination of labour market information and/or a career awareness campaign, and
  • market new programs or services to address a labour market need within an industry sector or community.

Communications to:

  • assist industry sectors or associations to share best practices in human resource development and career/employment training,
  • conduct industry or community consultations that assist in improving human resource development and/or labour market adjustment needs,
  • initiate discussions regarding community challenges and labour market opportunities, and
  • assist in the development and/or dissemination of industry or community-based labour market products to address an identified need.

Coordination to:

  • facilitate community problem solving relating to labour market issues, and
  • support career fairs, career and employment conferences and job fairs only if the outcome will address a labour market need and improve the capacity of industries/communities to deal with human resource requirements and/or address labour market adjustment needs. If the outcome is not intended to address this criterion, other sources of funding should be considered.

Examples of activities that must not be supported through the LMP program include projects that:

  • create a long-term funding dependency,
  • will only benefit Human Services,
  • involve Human Services or any other government as the primary recipient of goods and services (Products, plans and strategies produced through the LMP program are for the use of the funding recipients and/or community partners/industry associations),
  • duplicate and/or replace programs or services already provided by Human Services,
  • duplicate information/education products already available in the community,
  • include direct service delivery to individual clients,
  • market or direct clients to provincial/federal programs,
  • address union-management collective bargaining issues,
  • assist employers, associations, training institutions and communities to develop their infrastructure and/or to cover day-to-day operational costs,
  • involve community development or community capacity building activities that do not address an identified labour market need,
  • support an educational institution in determining its training needs and/or developing its own curriculum, and
  • assist business/industry in research related to new products or product development
  • provide funding to cover employee-training costs.

Performance Measures/Standards

The expected outcomes for the LMP program are:

  • LMP contracts have achieved or exceeded the outcomes as outlined in the contract
  • LMP contracts meet and/or address a labour market need to enhance workplace human resource development and labour market adjustments
  • human resource development and labour market adjustment strategies derived from the LMP contract are implemented
  • stronger partnerships are developed between Human Services and communities/industry sectors relating to labour market planning and development, and
  • increased labour market intelligence and its dissemination

Alberta Human Services will measure the success of all LMP contracts based on both quantitative and qualitative results. Short-term and long-term measures will be identified and discussed with the Contractor prior to contract commencement.

Alberta Human Services’s Skills Investment programs outcomes and performance measures/standards are under review. 

Partnership

Under the LMP program, all projects must include a minimum of three partners prepared to contribute to the project, preferably with representation from various segments of industry or community. Each partner is expected to assume an active role and to make a significant contribution (in-kind or monetarily) to the proposed project. This will ensure broad-based support for the project, its results and implementation of recommendations. There is no maximum limit to the number of partners involved in a LMP project.

While it is recognized that Human Services’s involvement with LMP projects will vary from region to region based on local labour market needs, the following eligibility criteria apply to all LMP projects:

  • Priority must be given to projects that reflect Human Services departmental and regional and/or local priorities, and
  • Preference should be given to industry sectors that are experiencing one or more of the following:

    • projected growth rate in high demand occupations
    • current or emerging issues significantly impacting their human resource requirements or labour market adjustment needs
    • current or projected skill shortages; and/or
    • highest potential for value-added growth and innovation.

Labour Market Partnerships projects are normally cost shared with other partners. It is desirable for Human Services to only contribute a portion of the project costs. Human Services’s contribution amount will be determined based on:

  • the degree of priority for Human Services,
  • local, regional or provincial conditions, and
  • the ability of other partners to make financial and/or in-kind contributions.

      Co-operative partnerships may be formed between partners such as:

      • profit businesses,
      • non-profit organizations or social agencies,
      • industry associations/employer organizations,
      • employee organizations,
      • health and education providers (public and private),
      • local planning groups/community action groups,
      • charitable foundations,
      • First Nations organizations,
      • Métis organizations,
      • other governments (municipal, provincial and federal), and
      • others as deemed appropriate by Human Services staff.

      Alberta Human Services is considered to be one of the partners.

      Where possible, the financial value of in-kind contributions should be estimated and documented on the contract file. All partners, whether contributing in-kind or monetarily, should be recognized appropriately for their contributions.

      Monitoring of the Program

      Alberta Human Services' Community Strategies & Workforce Supports Division, Employment Services Delivery  Division and Corporate Services Division are jointly responsible for monitoring the LMP program to ensure local practices are consistent with Human Services legislation and policies.

      Alberta Human Services' Community Strategies & Workforce Supports Division is responsible for monitoring program performance and outcomes. At a provincial level, the Community Strategies & Workforce Supports Division will monitor the LMP program to:

      • review provincial program results to determine if business plan objectives are being met,
      • review any issues or concerns in provincial program policies, in consultation with the Employment Services' Delivery  Division and Corporate Services Division, and
      • make adjustments to program policies where required.
      Duration/Enrollment

      The LMP program is used to support short-term finite projects. Hence the duration of funding should not exceed 12 months. The issue of sustainability should always be considered and discussed with partners prior to entering into a LMP contract.

      Program Evaluation

      Provincial program evaluations will be carried out in partnership with Human Services’ Community Strategies & Workforce Supports Division, Employment Services' Delivery Division and Corporate Services Division.. Local contract evaluations will be carried out in accordance with Human Services’s standard contracting procedures.

      PROCEDURE

      Delivery Method

      The Employment Services Delivery  Division, Community Strategies and Workforce Supports Division and Corporate Services Division staff will determine how the LMP program can best meet the labour market needs in their area of responsibility. However, circumstances pertaining to a specific LMP project may warrant collaboration and involvement from all three Divisions.

      When a labour market partnership involves a financial contribution from Human Services, a formal agreement must be established using Human Services’s standard contracting procedures. The contract may be with one of the partners acting on behalf of all partners or with a mutually agreed upon third party. Multiple, concurrent LMP projects are also acceptable, where appropriate.

      A Labour Market Partnerships Contract Template and Contract Approval Summary Form has been designed to meet the specific needs of the LMP program.

      The delegated signing authority associated with this program, is the same as Services to Third Parties.

      A Terms of Reference (TOR) is not required for the LMP program. All applicable information for a sole-sourced project or a project that was awarded through the competitive process has been incorporated into the Contract Approval Summary form.

      Program Access/Entrance

      A written proposal from interested parties must be submitted to Human Services for all LMP projects. Where possible, proposals should clearly outline the following information:

      • project objective
      • scope/purpose of the project
      • duration of the project
      • proposed deliverables (i.e. what activities/services will be implemented with the proposed funds from Human Services)
      • proposed outcome(s)
      • total cost of the project including the requested contribution from Human Services
      • a list of all partners involved with the project
      • a breakdown of the contributions from each partner (financial and in-kind)
      • detailed information on how the project will sustain and not be reliant on future contracts for success
      • a communications plan detailing how the information will be shared with the community or industry sector
      • risk management strategies
      • ability to carry out the project
      • any relevant documentation that supports the need for the project.

      The Appeal Process

      In the event that an interested party has a complaint with the contract acquisition process, they may request a meeting with local management to discuss program eligibility criteria.

      APPENDICES

      Appendix A: Communication and Distribution Plans

      Some LMP projects result in the development of print and/or web-based products. LMP projects resulting in the development of a product(s) should incorporate a communications and distribution plan into the project design. This plan will address distribution external to Human Services. (For additional information pertaining to this matter, Human Services staff are encouraged to consult with Human Services’s Communications Branch)

      Internal Human Services distribution and communication of LMP projects and/or products is the responsibility of Contract Services Coordinators. Where appropriate, products will be distributed to all Human Services Centres.

      Additional methods of raising awareness of available products and respective distribution include, but are not limited to:

      • Human Services' offices,
      • Community Strategies and Workforce Supports resources,
      • Alberta Learning Information Service Website, and
      • Human Services' Intranet for documents intended for internal and/or external distribution.

      Under the Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA), Alberta is required to acknowledge the federal government’s contribution on materials produced or services provided with LMDA funding. The display of a logo or wording can be used to provide this recognition. However, federal identification must be comparable to that of the provincial government. That is, should provincial identification be evident in the form of a provincial logo, the “Canada” word-mark must also appear. To address this requirement, consultation with Human Services’ Communications Branch is recommended.

      Appendix B: Summary of LMP Project Selection Criteria

      LMP Projects Must:

      Status

      1.  be submitted to Human Services in the form of a written proposal  
      2. support activities which address a labour market need  
      3. involve a partnership  
      4. be finite (i.e. project-specific)  
      5. include a minimum of three partners that are prepared to contribute to the project  
      6. contain project-specific objectives and outcomes that are achievable within the confines of the contract and not be reliant on future contracts for success  
      7. reflect Human Services departmental, regional and local priorities  

      LMP Projects Must Not:

      Status

      1. create a long-term funding dependency  
      2. only benefit Humn Services  
      3. involve Human Services or any other government as the primary recipient of goods and services  
      4. duplicate and/or replace programs or services already provided by Human Services  
      5. duplicate information/education products already available in the community  
      6. include direct service delivery to individual clients  
      7. market or direct clients to provincial/federal programs  
      8. address union-management collective bargaining issues  
      9. assist employers, associations, training institutions and communities to develop their infrastructure and/or to cover day-to-day operational costs  
      10. involve community development or community capacity building activities that do not address an identified labour market need  
      11. support an educational institution in determining its training needs and/or developing their its curriculum  
      12. assist business/industry in research related to new products or product development  
      13. provide funding to cover employee-training costs  
      Note
      Preference should be given to industry sectors that are experiencing one or more of the following:
      • Projected growth rate in high demand occupations;
      • Current or emerging issues significantly impacting their human resource requirements or labour market adjustment needs;
      • Current or projected skill shortages; and/or Highest potential for value-added growth and innovation.

      Appendix C: Glossary of Terms Specific to the LMP Program

      • Community
        Community is referred to in the broadest sense. Community is defined by a common interest of several partners. Community could range from a geographical area (e.g. Lethbridge area), to an industry/interest sector (e.g. the arts community or the oil and gas sector), to a group of people with a common demographic (e.g. youth community).

      • Co-operative partnerships
        A co-operative partnership refers to partners collaboratively working towards a common goal.

      • Labour Market Adjustment Strategies
        This refers to activities that result in improved balance between the supply and demand of a labour force situation. It might include an assessment of a current situation such as a closure of a major community employer; the development of a human resource plan aimed at improving the imbalance between the supply and demand of a labour force situation; and activities that heighten awareness of labour market issues.

      • Labour Market Development
        Refers to the labour market as well as the people and measures that promote the matching of labour market demand and supply. This could include skills acquisition to meet labour market demands but could also include measures that increase the efficiency of the labour market.

      • Labour Market Intelligence
        Strategic assembly, interpretation and use of information and resources that contribute to better planning, leveraging, implementation and evaluation in labour market development.

      • Partners
        In the case of the LMP program, “partners” refers to evidence that there is a minimum of three parties prepared to contribute (in-kind or monetarily) to the outcome of the project.

      • Skill Shortage
        A situation of skill shortage occurs when, under existing labour market conditions and at any particular time and geographical location, the skills readily available within the labour market fall short of the requirements.

      • Workplace Human Resource Development
        This involves the design, development and implementation of human resource strategies. It might include the analysis of employment opportunities within an industry sector; identification of labour market trends; identification of skills gaps and barriers to hiring and retaining human resources; and development of an industry-based human resource plan.