News Release Archive

Nova Scotians on social assistance are finding meaningful
employment as a result of Nova Scotia's Compass Program, a
federal-provincial pilot project to help social assistance
recipients find jobs.

This result was announced today by Community Services Minister
Jim Smith and Mary Clancy MP Halifax, on behalf of federal
Minister Human Resources Development Doug Young.

"To date, the Compass Program has exceeded our expectations,"
said Mr. Smith. "Not only does it provide valuable training and
job experience, it also provides long-term employment for many
Nova Scotians receiving social assistance. This is an innovative,
cost-effective approach for all taxpayers."

An independent, preliminary evaluation shows that 67 per cent of
clients who completed the program's short-term, on-the-job
training component, are being hired full-time at the end of their

As well, the program's work experience option has led to
full-time employment for 34 per cent of the young Nova Scotians
who completed their job placement. The program's evaluation did
determine that there could be further improvement for
single-parent families, and ways are currently under study to
respond to the needs of these individuals through the Compass

To date, over 2200 individuals have participated in the program.

"Our goal is to encourage partnerships with the private sector
and the province to help Canadians find jobs. Compass achieves
that goal by helping people break out of the cycle of social
assistance and long-term unemployment into the world of jobs and
opportunity. Compass deserves our support," said Ms. Clancy.

The Compass Program, initiated in October, 1994, complements
existing training and employment services and encourages
increased partnerships with private sector employers across the
province. Funded through a federal-provincial cooperation
agreement that runs until October, 1996 with a total budget of
$15 million over a 26-month period, the program is cost-shared on
a 50-50 basis by the Nova Scotia Community Services Department
and Human Resources Development Canada.

Compass has several components including a work experience option
for youth, a transitional training option providing a wage
subsidy to employers, an enterprise development option to help
social assistance recipients establish small businesses, and an
opportunity fund which helps social assistance recipients cover
the cost of items required for a return to work or training.

The Compass evaluation was conducted by Martel Consulting
Services Ltd. along with Collins Management Consulting and
Research of Halifax.


Contact: Margaret Murphy  902-424-4880 or 902-499-8569 (cellular)

         Greg Macdonald   902-426-8306

trp                         Mar. 26, 1996 - 11:26 a.m.