Intensive Employment Supports
DWjobnet has had great success in connecting community women jobs they can immediately qualify for. This success is based on intensive support over several months for each program participant. During the January 2013 to July 2014 period, 570 people registered with DWjobnet. Each participant received support an average of 12 times. Participants required an average of 3 job start referrals before learning to navigate the labour market independently.
Multiple Barriers to Employment
Program participants are almost all immigrant women who have reached the middle of their working lives without having any paid work experience, usually because of domestic responsibility. Lack of work experience is often compounded by lack of labour market knowledge and connections, by poor ESL skills and other barriers.
Lack of Canadian Work Experience—Key Barrier
Although both participants and project workers identified multiple employment barriers, lack of Canadian work experience was identified as the key barrier blocking employment. Employers are reluctant to offer regular employment to women with no previous work history. Even women with fairly good ESL skills and family support usually require several job starts in order to keep employed in even the most low-skilled job sectors. There is no short-cut to gaining this experience. Participants on average require supports over a 6 month period before becoming attached to the labour force. DWjobnet job developers have addressed this problem by creating hiring referral relationships with employers who hire new labour market entrants.