Reader’s guide

The Local Job Creation project involves a series of country reviews in Australia, Belgium (Flanders), Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon), Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy (Autonomous Province of Trento), Korea, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States (California and Michigan). The key stages of each review are summarised in Box 1.

Box 1. Summary of the OECD LEED Local Job Creation Project Methodology
  • Analyse available data to understand the key labour market challenges facing the country in the context of the economic recovery and apply an OECD LEED diagnostic tool which seeks to assess the balance between the supply and demand for skills at the local level.

  • Map the current policy framework for local job creation in the country.

  • Apply the local job creation dashboard, developed by the OECD LEED Programme (Froy et al., 2010) to measure the relative strengths and weaknesses of local employment and training agencies to contribute to job creation.

  • Conduct an OECD study visit, where local and national roundtables with a diverse range of stakeholders are held to discuss the results and refine the findings and recommendations.

  • Contribute to policy development in the reviewed country by proposing policy options to overcome barriers, illustrated by selected good practice initiatives from other OECD countries.

While the project was conceived at a time when the economic crisis was the primary focus of policy makers, it was clear that both short-term and longer-term actions would be needed to ensure sustainable economic growth. In response to this issue, the OECD LEED Programme has developed a set of thematic areas on which local stakeholders and employment and training agencies can focus to build employment growth at the local level. These include:

  1. Better aligning policies and programmes to local economic development challenges and opportunities;

  2. Adding value through skills: Creating an adaptable skilled labour force and supporting employment progression and skills upgrading;

  3. Targeting policy to local employment sectors and investing in quality jobs, including gearing education and training to emerging local growth sectors and responding to global trends, while working with employers on skills utilisation and productivity; and,

  4. Being inclusive to ensure that all actual and potential members of the labour force can contribute to future economic growth.

Local Job Creation Dashboard

As part of the project, the OECD LEED Programme has drawn on its previous research to develop a set of best practice priorities, which is used to assess local practices through a local job creation dashboard (see Box 2). The dashboard enables national and local policy-makers to gain a stronger overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the current policy framework, whilst better prioritising future actions and resources. A value between 1 (low) to 5 (high) is assigned to each of the four priority areas corresponding to the relative strengths and weaknesses of local policy approaches based on best practices in other OECD countries.

Box 2. Local Job Creation Dashboard

Better aligning policies and programmes to local economic development

  1. Flexibility in the delivery of employment and vocational training policies

  2. Capacities within employment and VET sectors

  3. Policy co-ordination, policy integration and co-operation with other sectors

  4. Evidence based policy making

Adding value through skills

  1. Flexible training open to all in a broad range of sectors

  2. Working with employers on training

  3. Matching people to jobs and facilitating progression

  4. Joined up approaches to skills

Targeting policy to local employment sectors and investing in quality jobs

  1. Relevance of provision to important local employment sectors and global trends and challenges

  2. Working with employers on skills utilisation and productivity

  3. Promotion of skills for entrepreneurship

  4. Promoting quality jobs through local economic development

Being inclusive

  1. Employment and training programmes geared to local “at-risk” groups

  2. Childcare and family friendly policies to support women’s participation in employment

  3. Tackling youth unemployment

  4. Openness to immigration

The approach for Canada

This study has looked at the range of institutions and bodies involved in workforce, skills, and economic development in Canada. A first study was completed and published in 2014 focusing on Ontario and Quebec. For this second review, in-depth field work was undertaken across four case study areas in two jurisdictions: the province of Saskatchewan and Yukon (one of three territories in Canada). Compared to Ontario and Quebec, these jurisdictions are smaller in size; Saskatchewan has a population of 1.2 million people and Yukon’s population is 36 000. The four case study areas – representing two in each jurisdiction are:


  • Regina (the provincial capital).

  • Whitecap (the territory of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation).


  • Whitehorse (the territorial capital).

  • Dawson City (a small community 500 kms north of Whitehorse).

In each, a country expert conducted interviews with a range of local stakeholders, including employment offices, economic development officials, training institutions, employers, and other local community and social inclusion organisations. Additionally, local roundtables and a meeting with provincial and territorial level officials were held in each case study location in September 2015 to discuss the findings and recommendations.

The next section of the report provides an overview of key economic and labour market trends in Canada. The subsequent chapters provide an overview of the key economic trends in Saskatchewan and the Yukon. This is followed by the results of the study in Saskatchewan and Yukon in the form of a local job creation dashboard. This section of the report highlights strengths and weaknesses of local policy approaches and actions taken in each jurisdiction. Drawing on these findings, the final section of the report provides recommendations for consideration for Saskatchewan, the Yukon, and the federal government in the development of an action plan, which will contribute to quality job creation at the local level.