Measuring Outcomes of NPower Canada Alumni Pre and Post COVID-19 Onset
Blueprint was engaged by NPower Canada as an external evaluator and evidence generation partner. This report outlines the outcomes of their model in placing underserved youth into tech jobs prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite pandemic, Canadian youth find jobs and success in the tech sector
The report confirms the effectiveness of NPower Canada’s program in helping youth find jobs and succeed in the digital economy – even during the COVID-19 pandemic
TORONTO – NPower Canada is excited to share the results from an external evaluation of its program conducted by Blueprint. The report, Measuring outcomes of NPower Canada alumni pre and post COVID-19 onset highlights the effectiveness of NPower Canada’s unique model and its success in placing underserved young adults into meaningful tech careers prior to, and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why does this matter? At a time when the number of youth not in education, employment or training (2020 StatsCan Report) has increased to record levels, and youth unemployment is around 20%, NPower Canada’s workforce program and its young participants have demonstrated agility and resilience during exceptionally challenging times for the Canadian economy.
Blueprint has undertaken a rigorous analysis of NPower Canada’s participant and program data since its launch in 2014. This report measures the outcomes achieved by NPower Canada’s workforce development program for its youth beneficiaries prior to and post the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Despite the unprecedented effects of the pandemic, Blueprint’s evaluation found that nearly 80% of participants who graduated shortly before or anytime after the pandemic, found employment or enrolled in education or training within only just six months of graduating.
Additionally, NPower Canada continues to place youth into high-quality junior-level IT jobs. Alumni who graduated before and after the onset of the pandemic also achieved similar levels of full-time employment – with 92% of employed graduates currently working full-time and 99% in roles requiring tech skills.
“Over the last year there have been countless conversations about the impact of the pandemic on young adults and about the future of work,” says NPower Canada CEO Julia Blackburn. “The pandemic, coupled with advancements in technology is changing how we live, how we work, and how we learn. Our goal at NPower Canada is to successfully transition vulnerable unemployed youth, or those in low-wage service jobs at risk of obsolescence, to IT career pathways with strong growth prospects in areas like software development, tech support, data analysis, information security, and quality assurance.”
The initial phase of Blueprint’s evaluation began just before the pandemic was declared. In response to the news of the pandemic and the ensuing global lockdown, NPower Canada and Blueprint used data and evidence to ensure the shift to online was informed by industry best practices. NPower pivoted to virtual program delivery and adapted how youth are trained and connected with employment opportunities.
“These skills, and much of the technology our young people are trained to support, are now proving to be vital to individuals, businesses, and communities during these times of uncertainty,” Blackburn continues. “This report validates our work and our success at moving youth into sustainable careers – even in the current, challenging job market.”
Before the pandemic, NPower Canada aimed to place over 80% of its program alumni in employment or education and training within 12 months of their graduation from the program. However, Blueprint’s evaluation found that NPower Canada achieved this at 6 months from graduation with 90% of alumni finding employment or enrolling in education or training.
Blueprint collaborates with policymakers and practitioners to shape visionary ideas into evidence-informed policies and programs. Our pragmatic and rigorous approach enables our team to design, execute and evaluate strategies that create meaningful—and measurable—change. Complex and dynamic problems require real-time, real-world evidence to foster innovative, agile and responsive solutions that work. With ambitious leaders, we’re on a mission to improve the lives of Canadians.
About NPOWER Canada
Founded in 2014, NPower Canada is a non-profit workforce development initiative that equips lower-income, diverse Canadians for in-demand tech careers. NPower Canada has grown from enrolling 87 learners in 2015 to more than 1,000 in 2020, scaling within the GTA and expanding nationally to Calgary in 2019 and Halifax and Vancouver in 2021.
To date, more than 80% of NPower Canada’s 1,667 alumni have secured in-demand tech jobs such as Help Desk Analyst, QA Specialist and Information Security Analyst with industry leaders such as Accenture, CGI, CIBC, Cisco, Deloitte, IBM, RBC, Softchoice, TD and TELUS.