March 2021

4.1 - Job Development and Placement

Summary of Directive

To describe the job development and placement services and supports that clients can access to connect them to sustainable jobs in the competitive labour market.

To identify requirements for ODSP employment supports job placement funding.

Legislative Authority

Sections 32 (1) of the ODSP Act 1997
Section 4 of the Regulation

Intent of Policy

To make a range of goods and services available and accessible to help clients reduce or eliminate disability-related barriers to employment and assist clients in reaching their competitive employment goal.

Application of Policy

This directive contains an overview of goods and services that eligible clients may access through ODSP employment supports to help them get a job. Service providers and clients will use this information as they work together to develop a plan to achieve the client's competitive employment goal.

Clients may access other available funding and training/employment programs in conjunction with ODSP employment supports, provided that it is not a duplication of services.

Service providers should be aware of all other programs and sources of funding available in their community and assist clients to access these supports, as appropriate.

Service providers and employers must work together to ensure that job placements and accommodations are in compliance with the Employment Standards Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

The service provider will assist the client to secure competitive, sustainable employment that is appropriate to the client's abilities and skills, taking into account the existing opportunities in the local labour market.

Job development and placement services may help individuals connect with the labour market early along their path to employment and may include activities such as job placement, job trials and work experiences and on-the-job training. However, any of the above types of arrangements must be in compliance with the Employment Standards Act.

Job Placement Approaches

There are several approaches to job placement including:

  • Traditional client-centered approach. An assessment is completed on the client's strengths (e.g. aptitudes, interests, skills, training and experience) and barriers to employment followed by activities to find jobs/resources that match their profile.
  • Job development "marketing" model. The service provider finds potential jobs through postings and employer contacts and identifies clients who have the basic skills needed for the job (though not necessarily all skill requirements). Negotiations may take place with the employer to "carve out" a modified position to accommodate the client's needs.
  • Broad-based communication strategy. This includes media advertising to promote the positive aspects of hiring people with disabilities and may also involve collaborative approaches/partnerships, testimonials and best practices by employers, peer mentors and various employer supports (e.g. internet-based recruitment and placement service).
  • Employment consortiums that bring together consumers, employers, disability organizations, employment placement service providers and government agencies/funders to create employment opportunities.

Service providers will determine which of these approaches or combination of approaches work best in their community, taking into account the type of clients served, local labour market conditions and individual client needs.

Job Development

Individuals who have significant employment barriers may need job development and placement support to help bridge the gap between their current situation, labour market and employer's expectations.

Service providers may employ job developers who have a specialized expertise to recognize and effectively work with employers to help meet their needs when hiring and employing people with disabilities. They not only focus on the client’s skills to do the job but they consider other assets such as the client's personality, motivation, availability, and ability to fit in with other employees in the workplace.

Job developers must also be competent in job analysis, worksite modification and job accommodation including the application of appropriate technology. Job developers must have skills to enable them to work effectively with employers, co-workers and clients; develop or modify a workplace to accommodate the client's needs; identify tools needed by the client to do the job and support a person at work without being intrusive.

By building trusting relationships with employers, job developers help the client access opportunities they would not have been able to secure on their own.

Eligible Job Placement Goods and Services

Service providers will offer appropriate services and supports in response to the client's and/or the employer’s needs. Service providers may offer these job development and placement services themselves or coordinate these services with other providers in the community. They may also purchase specialized supports through other suppliers.

The types of goods and services that may be provided under job placement funding include:

  • job development with employers in the community;
  • finding and/or developing workplace training (job trials, work experience, on-the-job training) and employment opportunities;
  • screening and marketing clients for job opportunities;
  • job preparation activities (e.g. work hardening, orientation to the workplace rights and responsibilities, job skills training, etc.);
  • assisting participants to conduct job searches in the area of occupational interests (e.g. preparing resumes, covering letters, employment applications, licenses, etc.);
  • arranging any necessary job training and/or employment placement supports (e.g. transportation to work, work supplies, clothing, telephone expenses, certification charges, etc.);
  • putting in place the tools and supports required by the client to overcome obstacles in doing the job (e.g. special equipment, job coaches, etc.);
  • providing supportive follow-up to the employer and the client; and
  • negotiating with the employer the provision of employee accommodations.

Workplace Training

Job Shadow Experience

Job shadow experiences are one-day, unpaid work-related activities that can help clients acquire first-hand experience on possible career options.

While every worksite visit may differ depending on the environment and occupation, the typical job shadowing experience will provide a client the opportunity to follow and observe company employees as they perform their day-to-day work tasks. This will provide participants a ‘day in the life’ understanding of occupations available to them, which will inform their career goal decisions and/or identify the skills they need to find employment in their preferred occupation.

A job shadow experience differs from job trials in that participants are not allowed to perform any of the duties that they observe. If a participant wants hands-on work experience, service providers must work to arrange for a short-term placement through a job trial.

Job Trials

Job trials are short-term placements with an employer that help clients prepare for employment by building basic job skills and work ethics in an actual job setting. They are an effective and efficient way to get reliable labour market feedback, overcome employer perception barriers and gain access to employment.

Job trials may be used to:

  • test out abilities and interests for specific types of jobs;
  • provide clients and job developers with valuable feedback on which to build an employment action plan and determine the need for further services;
  • provide employer feedback based on performance in an actual work setting;
  • give the employer an opportunity to assess the employee’s ability to perform in the job; and
  • identify the need for workplace training or on-the-job supports.

Before a job trial begins, a written short-term employment agreement signed by the employer, client and service provider should be in place that outlines the goals, terms, wages, and conditions for the placement, as well as a process for monitoring and evaluation.

In addition, job trials should include adequate supervision and training. This may include having a job coach on-site to help make the exercise a beneficial experience for the participant in the job trail.

Job trials must comply with the Employment Standards Act with the exception only for individuals in a community participation program under the Ontario Works Act or a high school co-op program.

In addition, responsibility for accident insurance coverage during job trial placements falls under the employer’s insurance policies (see directive 6.5 Workplace Accident Insurance Coverage).

On-the-job Training

ODSP employment supports funding can support a range of workplace training options for skill development purposes including on-the-job training arrangements and apprenticeships.

On-the-job training refers to a training arrangement with a time-limited employment arrangement with an expectation of continued employment following the training period. On-the-job training may be arranged when the service provider, client and the employer determine that a skill or set of skills are needed to bridge the gap from unemployment to employment.

Throughout the placement, the job developer will support the employer's ability to meet his/her business needs and work to address the client's work and skill development needs.

On-the-job training is designed to encourage employers to retain the client after the placement by committing to specific work-related training and development that prepares the individual to perform the responsibilities of the job. This also helps to offset some of the employer's costs of training the new employee

Funding may be provided for either:

  • A training course or program that relates to the employee's job responsibilities or involves training in adaptive technology required to perform the job duties, or
  • A training wage subsidy to assist the employer to cover the costs of training or additional supervision required during the early stages of employment and time required to put in place any tools/supports needed by the employee to perform the job.

To ensure accountability of training dollars and improve employee retention, agreements should be signed by the employer, client and service provider outlining the training goals, and the terms and conditions of on-the-job training. The on-the-job training placement must be conducted in compliance with the Employment Standards Act.

As part of the on-the-job training placement, the employer should commit to:

  • paying wages at entry level wage or better (comparable to other employees in similar positions);
  • developing a training plan for the employee;
  • sharing in the cost of employee training;
  • keeping the client as an employee after the funding ends; and
  • participating in a progress review.

Service providers will negotiate the level of ongoing support they will provide the client and the employer. They should also be available to intervene in a job crisis.

The amount of job placement and retention funding provided to service providers under ODSP employment supports does not support offering job trials or on-the-job training subsidies for all eligible clients. Therefore, service providers should develop a rationale for subsidized training rather than direct job placement. Service providers will need to manage placement duration and training subsidies to ensure that contracted results are achieved within budget.

Timeframes and Duration

The time required for a successful job placement will vary based on the local labour market, the service provider's employer network, as well as the client's abilities and barriers.

Where job placement is not successful, the client may return to the employability assessment stage to identify more appropriate services and supports or to determine whether alternatives to competitive employment need to be explored.

Related Directives

4.2 Job Retention and Advancement
4.3 Exceptional Work-Related Disability Supports
5.1 Employment Supports Funding
6.4 Performance Measures and Information Reporting
6.5 Workplace Accident Insurance Coverage