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Employment-Related Projects

Occupational Language Analysis (OLA) 

An Occupational Language Analysis (OLA) defines the Canadian Language Benchmarks levels required to per-form tasks related to specific jobs as defined in the Essential Skills Profiles and additional information found in the National Occupational Standards.

This information can be used by a multitude of stake-holders including learners, job-seekers, program developers, HR professionals, employment counsellors and sector councils. They can inform individuals’ professional and training goals as well as the design of language, bridge-to-employment and other programs.

In 2009-2010 the role of CCLB in the OLA process continued to evolve. CCLB formalized a training and registration process for OLA Registered Analysts, including the development of a registry of OLAs that is made available to sector councils who wish to develop OLAs. This provides the opportunity for a variety of consultants and practitioners to become OLA Registered Analysts who then can respond to sector councils’ requests for proposals. In some cases, the CCLB will broker the development of OLAs for a sector if requested.

OLAs for the Tourism Sector

In 2009, CCLB worked in close partnership with the Canadian Tourism Human Resources Council (CTHRC) to train and register a group of Job Analysts. Trainees were mentored and developed 14 new OLAs for the tourism sector. CCLB worked with CTHRC to refine a process for mentoring registered analysts and provide quality assurance.

The following OLAs are available at www.itsessential.ca: Hunting Guide, Retail Sales Associate, Heritage Interpreter, Line Cook, Casino Dealer, Banquet Server, Tourism Researcher, Taxi and Limousine Drivers, Outdoor Adventure Guide, Food Service Counter Attendant, Travel Counsellor, Door Staff, Tourism Trainer and Small Business Owner-Operator.

Child Care Occupations

CCLB worked in partnership with the Canadian Child Care Human Resource Sector Council to develop two OLAs for Child Care Administrators and Early Childhood Educators. CCLB conducted additional research via surveys to verify language tasks commonly done by Child Care Centre Supervisors. The data from the CLB bench-marking was incorporated into the Occupational Language Analysis to supplement or enrich the information derived from the National Occupational Standard and the Essential Skills Profile.

Other OLA Development and Support

CCLB worked in partnership with the Canadian Grocery Human Resource Council to develop an OLA for Cashiers. CCLB provided mentoring and quality assurance.

CCLB provided mentoring and quality assurance support for some of the OLAs developed for BioTalent, a biotechnology sector council, for the following occupations: Chief Executive Officer, General Lab Worker, Intellectual Property Officer, Regulatory Affairs Specialist and Vice President of Manufacturing.

Work Ready: A Canadian Language Benchmarks Resource for Counselling, Hiring and Working With Internationally Trained Individuals

Work Ready was developed in 2008 for employers, human resource professionals and employment counsellors to facilitate the successful employment of newcomers to Canada. The kit includes an introduction to the CLB, reasons for hiring immigrants, best hiring and training practices, communication and hiring strategies. The kit also provides helpful language-based tips and resources for those employing, working with or training immigrants. In 2009, with funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, CCLB undertook further revisions, distribution and promotion of Work Ready. The print and electronic editions were revised based on feedback from funders and reviewers and underwent professional editing. The updated resource was promoted and distributed at launch events as well as several conferences.

Tools and Resources to Support the Effective Use of Essential Skills

In 2008 and 2009 CCLB received funding from the department of Human Resources and Skills Development to develop Essential Skills Tools and Resources, a series of three guidebooks designed to assist a range of stake-holders in better supporting immigrant clients develop Essential Skills. A guidebook was designed for each of:  

  • Workplace trainers
  • ESL/FSL instructors
  • Developers of National Occupational Standards and Essential Skills Profiles 

Another key outcome was the development of the CLB-Essential Skills Primer, which includes an assessment that ESL/FSL teachers can use with students in Stage I of the CLB. The outcomes of the assessment can inform the teacher of Essential Skills areas of focus for their in-class work. As well, fifty generic lesson plans were produced to empower ESL/FSL teachers to incorporate transferable Essential Skills into their language training. 

The guidebooks and lesson plans were reviewed by content specialists and CCLB’s National Advisory Committee comprised of the following partnering organizations: TESL Canada, the Canadian Tourism and Human Resources Council, and the Canadian Society for Training and Development. Workshops were delivered across Canada with job analysts, trainers and instructors in both French and English.

With funding from the Government of Alberta CCLB held a train-the-trainer workshop for practitioners from that province. This has expanded trainer capacity and raised awareness of the CLB and Essential Skills in Alberta.

Due to overwhelming demand CCLB did a second print run of the guidebook for distribution to ESL and FSL instructors across Canada to meet demands that continue on into the next fiscal year.

Benchmarking the Language Demands of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists

CCLB was retained by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators to benchmark the language demands of occupational therapists and physiotherapists in Ontario. The Alliance worked in partnership with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario and the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. This is part of a larger initiative funded by the Government of Ontario which may include the development of an occupation-specific language test for both professions.

CCLB’s research team gathered qualitative data about authentic language use through observations and interviews with occupational therapists and physiotherapists in a wide variety of professional practice settings throughout Ontario including hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation units and specialized service clinics. Research also included the collection and analysis of workplace materials read and written in these work contexts.

The CLB was used to identify the complexity of observed and reported language tasks to determine the CLB levels associated with typical job tasks. CCLB’s final report will inform the development of the pro-posed language assessment tool.  

Workplace Language Assessment (WLA) Pre-Screening Tool

The WLA Pre-Screening Tool is a quick and easy tool for employment and settlement counsellors to use with their clients. The 30-minute assessment provides a general guide to the CLB level of the client and references CLB Level 6 and higher.

Using the information provided by this tool, the client and counsellor can explore possible pathways which may include further language assessment, language training, bridge-to-employment programs or employment. In 2009, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, CCLB coordinated and delivered six additional sessions to 100 participants. Participants received the materials needed to deliver training sessions to colleagues within their organization or region.

Information and Communications Technology Council Benchmarking Study

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) has asked CCLB to establish CLB and NCLC levels for part of ICTC’s ICT Competency Profiles standards.

This work will define the language required to work in nine software and six management occupations within the sector. This information will inform further work being done on ICTC’s Enhanced Workshops On-Line for Newcomers to Canada project funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Foreign Credential Referral Office.

CCLB has a bilingual team of experts assigned to bench-marking the ICT Competency Profiles and to analyzing additional data gathered using a variety of methods. This project will continue to September 2010.

Language Assessment for Internationally Trained Engineers 

In 2009 CCLB was retained by Engineers Canada for the development of an occupation-specific language tool for foreign-trained engineers. CCLB will develop, validate and pilot two core versions of an occupation-specific language assessment (two versions in English, two in French) with additional engineering content specific to four engineering disciplines (mechanical, electrical, civil, and chemical). 

CCLB built on earlier research sponsored by the Edmonton Mennonite Centre with researchers at the University of Calgary. CCLB undertook a benchmarking scan of Essential Skills Profiles to identify examples of language tasks done by engineers in Canada. This inventory provided key content to inform test development.

CCLB field-tested early versions of the tool with foreign-trained engineers in Alberta and British Columbia. Further piloting of the tool will be done in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick as well as Quebec in the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Development of the tool, including further revisions, validation and pilot testing, will continue into the next fiscal year.

This Engineers Canada initiative is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Foreign Credential Referral Office.

Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses

The Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) is an assessment tool designed to assess the English language proficiency of internationally educated nurses who are applying for licensure in the nursing profession in Canada.

The Canadian English Language Assessment Services (CELAS) Centre at Red River College has been providing training and overseeing the administration of the CEL-BAN in Canada. In this partnership, CCLB has authorized the CELAS Centre to set up new CELBAN testing sites and oversee assessor training, among other activities.

The CELAS Centre reports to CCLB on all activities and refer questions related to CELBAN to CCLB. CELBAN activities carried out by the CELAS Centre in 2009 include:

  • The establishment of two new CELBAN sites in Regina and Saskatoon.
  • The distribution of CELBAN Readiness Self-Assessment kits.
  • The distribution of Institutional CELBAN kits.
  • Training for CELBAN assessors and Institutional CELBAN users in Alberta and B.C.
  • A feasibility study regarding the adaptation of CELBAN for a range of internationally trained health professionals.