Social Finance and Employment and Training Programs (2012)

Presentation at The Centre for Literacy Fall Institute, October 14-16, 2012 in Saint John, NB

This presentation examines both the potential of social finance to help governments meet their policy objectives in the field of employment and training programs, and the extent to which social finance models are currently being used to solve challenges in that field.

The author has looked at organizations in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and has identified a number of broad approaches to using social finance to deliver employment and training services. Those approaches include an employment model; fee-for-service; financial incentive employment; the social purpose business (for profit) model; a pay-for-success financing model, or social impact bond; and a proposed public private partnership.

The analysis suggests that social finance approaches are well-suited to address the challenge of how to shift to a more demand-focused system to better meet the needs of both job-seekers and employers.

All models are associated with significant challenges, and there is an ongoing trade-off between social and financial goals, the author notes. However, by aligning needs and incentives, the models have the potential to engage employers; foster the transition to a demand-led system; and, ultimately, improve outcomes. Further research needed to determine how models could be implemented on a broader scale, given the complexity of funding arrangements and the regulatory environment.

The presentation was part of the agenda for the Centre for Literacy’s Fall Institute 2012, held in Saint John, New Brunswick. The centre supports best practices and informed policy development in literacy and essential skills.

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APA citation
Karen Myers. Social Finance and Employment and Training Programs 2012. Web. 4 Dec. 2022 <>
Karen Myers (2012). Social Finance and Employment and Training Programs. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
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