Building Transitions to Good Jobs for Low-Income Women

During the 1980s and 1990s, transition programs for women were fairly common in Canada. Established to help women enter or re-enter the labour force through skills-based training, they were designed to assist women to overcome educational, attitudinal, and structural barriers, as well as to determine and realize their job aspirations. A national evaluation of the Job Entry Program for the former Employment and Immigration Canada recorded the success of these programs. It found that the Re-entry option was particularly effective for women in the Atlantic region in terms of both employment and earnings. But what happened to these programs? In examining this question, the report explores the key changes in government policies that have had an impact on the job-training delivery landscape from the late 1980s up to the present and introduces the reader to the economic realities faced by many women in Nova Scotia today. The report goes on to examine a variety of approaches and best practices that enable low-income women to move into more stable and better-paid employment. It also looks at current policies and programs and in particular the opportunities the new CanadañNova Scotia Skills and Learning Framework offers to develop meaningful community based training programs that can address womenís needs. A series of recommendations on this question and how the Skills and Learning Framework could meet the educational and training needs of womenóincluding recommendations on infrastructure, delivery and sustainabilityócompletes the report.