Social Researcher Request for Proposals

Deadline date: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 5:00pm
Fixed date
RFP status: 


ONESTEP is seeking proposals to support it in a social research project keyed to mature workers’ role in assisting the integration of new skilled workers into the workplace. ONESTEP’s mission as a member-led network is to engage in policy and program research, professional and organizational development and public advocacy in aid of a vibrant economy and meaningful employment opportunities. Our 80 nonprofit members across Ontario provide employment, training and related labour market services to both job seekers and employers.  A project partnership including JVS Toronto, the Durham Workforce Authority and Career Edge will work with ONESTEP on guiding the project.

Project Description

Talent Bridge is an exploration project, funded by the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation, seeking to engage small/medium employers in creating workplace learning exchanges between mature workers and new employees. The project seeks to address a number of labour market challenges and opportunities related to ensuring mature workers are productively employed while younger workers gain essential business skills. The project will address the gap between formalized training, often by hired trainers, where skill development is seen as transactional to a model where it is relational, peer based and individualized. The proposed intergenerational workplace-based exchange would build on mutual benefits, a shared appreciation of company investment and opportunities for career laddering. The gap in current new employee qualifications being addressed is the lack of essential business skills, understanding corporate culture and vision and achieving ready workplace integration.

By validating the earned business wisdom of mature workers for itself and in aid of integrating younger workers into the workplace, mutual knowledge and skill sharing will support internal team building and communications and also contribute to greater business productivity and idea exchange. New employment and training approaches for the Employment Ontario (EO) network and other partners and user friendly actionable information, tools, resources and training will be developed and tested based on project outcomes.

Target employers are small/medium enterprises (private, public, nonprofit) with 50 and 199 employees in business for 10 years or more and operating in the York/Peel/Durham/Toronto region.

Research Focus

Key research questions are:

  • Can employers be engaged to recognize the value of creating a mutual learning exchange between mature and younger workers?
  • What are the business advantages to employers of knowledge exchanges between these two cohorts?
  • What benefits do mature and younger workers stand to gain?
  • What are the key elements supporting productive knowledge/skill sharing?
  • What role can employment/training services play in building sustainable workplace learning environments?

Consultant Responsibilities

  • Refine the project plan in consultation with the Executive Director and Partners
  • Scope out the research activities involving human subjects, in particular employer and employee surveys; develop and submit a proposal for ethics review
  • Lead consultation and facilitation of meetings, focus groups, surveys and other means to engage partners and stakeholders in the process
  • Conduct secondary research and literature review for existing workplace learning exchange models  and promising practices
  • Assist in identifying 30-40 prospective employers to survey as initial interest testing and focus on 10-20 for subsequent in-depth interviews as potential pilot sites
  • Conduct or oversee employer surveys and interviews using ethics approved formats
  • Consolidate research findings and generate workplace learning model(s)
  • Work with project Partners to obtain employer agreement for pilot testing, including role definitions, mature and new volunteer employee preparations and support arrangements
  • Monitor pilot(s), document using tools and protocols established with the Evaluator
  • Perform analyses and document evidence-based research findings supporting model/promising practices and highlighting areas for EO policy and program design review

Project Deliverables

Specific deliverables include:

  • Evidence base regarding enabling/inhibiting factors for proposed mature worker roles in workplace learning environments
  • Experience-based case examples and promising practices models for employee engagement that address skill retention, new hire integration and intergenerational team building
  • New role models for mature employees focused on a mutual engagement relationship with potential for transitioning to retirement
  • Potential customer service options for employment services staff working with employers on talent bridging initiatives
  • Employment service policy and program design options for government consideration and integration into Employment Ontario.


This project initiative will commence in November 2017 and must be completed in full by October 27 2018. 


Project proposals will be reviewed against the following assessment criteria:

  • The level of supporting documentation provided regarding recent direct research that supports how the applicant is qualified to undertake this project   
  • Whether the applicant has previously relevant experience.
  • The capacity of the applicant to develop, implement, manage, monitor, and document the project within the specified timeframe and budget

Please submit your proposal and include the following headings:

  • Brief Project Overview
  • Your Organization’s Background
  • Project Goals & Target Audience
  • Scope of Work & Deliverables
  • Timeline
  • Principal Point of Contact
  • Budget.


Proposals can be submitted to the ONESTEP via email and should be directed to no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Please note that applicants are respectfully requested not to contact ONESTEP for purposes other than to submit their proposal. No additional information is available by phone or email about this initiative.