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Using digital solutions to boost employment: Applying lessons from the UK in Canada

By 19 June, 2023August 21st, 2023No Comments

Woman holding a tablet while talking to a coworker

19 June, 2023 — In today’s rapidly evolving job market, digital solutions have emerged as powerful tools to simplify workforce management and create employment opportunities. By using technology, we can streamline processes to help more people find meaningful work.

Jobs 22 put in place digital solutions to better serve job seekers, providing their clients with access to an app that provides feedback on résumés in a simple, user-friendly manner. But technology has its flaws, and that’s where employment specialists come in to fill the gaps.

Take William, for example — a job seeker who didn’t have access to the internet. Without this access, his job search felt frustrating and tiresome as he could not browse online job boards. An employment coach from Jobs 22 reached out to William, offering him a tablet with free internet. William began using the tablet for his job search, which ultimately helped him apply for more jobs on his own time. He attributes his success in securing a job to his employment coach and the Jobs 22 organization.

Jobs 22 firmly believes in using technology to simplify the job-seeking process, while still providing everyone they serve with equitable access to technology and the skills to use it successfully.

In this blog, we will explore how these approaches can be applied to the Canadian labour market.

Job seeker gains from the increased use of technology

There are many implementation solutions when it comes to supporting job seekers. Some of the most common are:

  • Job platforms: Robust online job platforms serve as a hub that connects job seekers and employers. With the help of advanced algorithms and machine learning, these platforms can match candidates with relevant job opportunities more efficiently, allowing job seekers to connect with employers and jobs that more closely match their proficiencies.
  • Targeted training programs: Digital tools facilitate the mapping of skills and competencies in the workforce. By collecting and analyzing data on a client’s skills, qualifications, and work experience, it becomes easier to identify their gaps and develop targeted training programs. This ensures that job seekers become equipped with in-demand skills, increasing their chances of finding employment.
  • Remote solutions: Embracing remote work arrangements significantly expands the range of job opportunities available to job seekers. Remote solutions promote more flexibility and inclusivity, which helps address talent shortages in certain sectors. Digital platforms also allow for remote collaboration, giving workers the freedom to access employment opportunities beyond their immediate area.
  • Data-driven decision-making: Using data is a great way to enhance operational decision-making. By analyzing the data of their client pool, employment services providers can identify trends and better understand labour market dynamics to ensure efficient resource allocation and take proactive measures to address emerging employment challenges.

Job seeker barriers to the increased use of technology

Man sitting on couch and using a tabletDespite the many supports that technology provides to employers, job seekers, and employment organizations, not everyone benefits from the increased use of technology. Some of the barriers to technology access are:

  • Equitable access: Ensuring equitable access to technology is a fundamental prerequisite for the successful implementation of digital solutions. Creating spaces with readily available internet access and devices that are easy to use helps to assuage equitable access. They give underserved communities the opportunity to take their job search digital, reducing existing inequalities in accessing employment.
  • Ability to use technology: To fully benefit from digital solutions, job seekers must possess digital literacy skills. Closing this gap requires providing training initiatives and educational programs to help these individuals navigate online platforms and further ensure equitable access to all aspects of the job market.
  • Privacy and data protection rights: While digital solutions provide significant benefits, privacy concerns regarding data protection must be addressed. Transparent data usage policies and protection measures are essential to building trust with job seekers and employers.

Applying the use of digital applications by Jobs 22 to the Canadian job market

The use of digital solutions by Jobs 22 in the United Kingdom has demonstrated how employment services agencies can better support their job seekers using technology. To apply these lessons to the Canadian job market, several strategies can be considered:

  • Collaboration: Foster collaboration between government agencies, employers, educational institutions, and community organizations to create a comprehensive digital ecosystem that addresses the needs of both job seekers and employers.
  • Adapt and customize existing digital products: Tailor the digital platforms and frameworks used by UK employment agencies like Jobs 22 to suit the unique requirements and challenges faced by the Canadian job market.
  • Pilot programs: Start up pilot programs in select regions in Canada to test and refine digital strategies before scaling them across the country. This approach mitigates potential risks. As an example of a pilot program, remote work solutions that have benefitted Torontonians could be of greater benefit to the wider Ontario job market, as they allow those who live in rural Ontario to access a wider range of jobs than just those in their immediate vicinity.

Next steps

Digital solutions offer the potential to transform the Canadian labour market. By leveraging the successes of Jobs 22 in the UK, we can implement effective strategies that use technology to connect job seekers with opportunities, enhance skillsets, and improve the overall efficiency of employment services.

Through collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to equitable access, we can unlock the full potential of digital solutions to create a more inclusive and thoughtful labour market in Canada.