In Motion & Momentum+ (IM&M+): Building resilience, hope and sustainable futures

This is a pre-employability program for individuals who are distant from the labour market and have unresolved employment readiness challenges.

In Motion & Momentum+ (IM&M+) is focused on breaking long-term cycles of dependence on social assistance for service recipients entering the labour market before they are work-ready – a cycle that results in significant costs to individuals, communities and across industry sectors. IM&M+ offers a unique approach to addressing cornerstone skills that support participants in moving forward. The program has been implemented province-wide in New Brunswick for seven years and was tested in a 3-site pilot in Ontario in 2018.

In motion and momentum participants on a Zoom call

Based on promising results in these settings, the program received $2.36 million in funding from the Future Skills Centre (FSC), which was announced on May 13, 2021. This follows an investment of $2.87 million by FSC in June 2020 that expanded the program to multiple locations across Canada to build on its success improving the employment prospects for those in the program.  

This 13-week program was created specifically for people at pre-employability stages of their careers. Decades of research has shown a consistent cycle that impedes the progress of underrepresented groups into sustained labour market attachment. This program addresses a gap in skills development that, if left unfilled, results in recidivism among those seeking social assistance. 

Community-based agencies work with participants to help them identify strengths and assets, build confidence, set goals, and use an action-oriented learning model that allows them to draw on their skills to develop a project addressing a need in their community. They receive support and coaching to continue to move positively towards their employment, educational and personal development goals. 

The IM&M+ initiative serves people with more complex and multi-faceted needs related to health, housing, childcare, and interpersonal issues, including a lack of hope. It responds to a need identified by professionals to tackle these challenges, break cycles of dependence on social assistance, and supports those farthest from the labour market to move towards sustainable work attachment. 

In partnership with FSC, the project is currently undergoing a pilot across 27 sites in six provinces. The program has made a huge difference to participants, their families and communities. IM&M+:

  • Breaks costly cycles of dependence on social assistance. Caseloads in New Brunswick have dropped by 2,200 clients since its introduction seven years ago
  • Demonstrates increased employability among those most distant from the labour market
  • Reveals significant changes in career goal clarity and perceived ability to overcome barriers to career goals
  • Shows significant improvement in a participants’ psycho-social health outcomes (including self-esteem, self-efficacy, motivation, resilience, positivity, accessing resources, networks, and allies) and foundation career management skills – all key indicators of increased employability
  • Improves labour market outcomes among participants. For a program that does not have employment or training as a defined outcome, almost 40% of Ontario pilot participants were employed or in school just two to three months after taking the program; 31% were employed and 80% of that same group had found permanent positions

Evaluation Strategy

This project will be evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation will focus on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.

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