Personal Information

Academic Vitae

Research Activities

Professional Activities

In 2009, the CRWG undertook a project to assess the impact of Labour Market Information (LMI) on clients seeking assistance with career decision making or job search. The research team was led by Dr. Bryan Hiebert and the intervention development team was led by Lynne Bezanson and Sareena Hopkins. The project was designed to address two research questions: (a) To what extent is independent self-help a sufficient process in order for clients to use LMI effectively? and (b) To what extent does assistance by a service provider enhance the effective use of LMI? This project was one of the first to isolate the use of LMI as a viable approach, independent of other interventions such as psychoeducational workshops or career counselling.

The project used the evaluation framework developed by the CRWG, tracking Inputs, Processes, and Outcomes. The service providers were career and employment counsellors, working in their usual career services centres, with clients who were part of their typical client case-loads. The dependent measures came from researcher developed questionnaires, indexed to the expected outcomes of the intervention and utilizing procedures developed by the CRWG.

The results showed that clients in all treatment conditions experienced substantial positive change during the course of the intervention. Of particular note are items that suggest increased ability to self-manage their careers, such as:

The statistical analysis of the data indicated that in most cases the amount of client change was statistically significant (p < .01) and at a clinical level, scores on the assessment instruments after the intervention finished were twice as high as scores before the intervention began. Thus the increases experienced by clients were clinically meaningful as well as statistically significant. Moreover, 80% of clients attributed the changes they experienced to the program and not other factors in their lives. At the end of the program 35% of the participants were employed (compared to 23% before the program began) and two-thirds of those had a job that was a good fit with their preferred employment future.

These results indicate that LMI which is tailored to meeting a specific set of client needs and used in an independent self-help fashion is sufficient to produce statistically significant and clinically important client change and assistance by service providers enhances many of the client outcomes. Assisted self-help tended to produce greater change than independent use especially in the skills that clients acquired, the positive personal attributes that were cultivated, and the general ability to access and use LMI, but the changes in employment status were similar for both independent and assisted groups.

This is one of the first studies that makes it possible to demonstrate a clear link between the processes that service providers and clients engage in and the outcomes that clients experience.