Intersol/Proposals/CAF October 2009

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Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, 2009

Enhancing Communications with Employers: Revising the CAF Employer Toolkit

Executive Summary

Canada is facing serious skills trades challenge, yet according to CAF-FCA research, only 18% of employers in skilled trades industries are hiring apprentices. A key element of the organization’s strategy to increase the pool of apprentices is to increase the availability of up-to-date and relevant information, tools and resources (which can be used on- and offline) targeted directly to employers, particularly those in small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Intersol will update and transform the CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit into a dynamic, interactive and practical tool which engages employers, encouraging them to participate in apprenticeship programs and create greater opportunities for apprentices.

We will also ensure that it reflects the strategic themes of Employer Engagement and National Outreach. We will also align our activities with CAF-FCA strategic objectives, culture, and key metrics.

Our approach will also includes a collaborative action research/learning perspective as a means for engaging employers as they transition to using and implementing the revised CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit as individual stakeholders and a ‘community of shared interest’.

Intersol will facilitate stakeholder engagement using an integrated, inclusive and participatory approach that strengthens CAF-FCA’s relationships, builds a stronger community, enhances communication and achieves tangible results.

In this project, our Consultants will use their considerable skills in facilitation, marketing, communications, analysis, synthesis and writing and website interactivity, social media / networks to help CAF-FCA realize its strategic goals and objectives. One of the Consultants on the team, Randy Fisher is a former journalist with the Globe and Mail, Financial Post and CBC Radio (p. 12)

Please note the page numbers of the Detailed Activity Plan, Budget Estimates and Deliverables - Workplan with 6-month duration (p .7), and Our Professional Fees (p. 16).

Background / Our Understanding of Your Requirements

Canada faces a significant skilled trades challenge: the number of qualified skilled trades workers has decreased, while our nation's employers have difficulty with recruitment and retention. This affects our national wealth and gross domestic product, job creation and quality of life.

To meet this challenge, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum Canadien sur l'Apprentissage (CAF-FCA)] was established in 2000 to actively promote apprentice training programs to Canadian Employers. A truly national and inclusive body, CAF-FCA is comprised of representatives of business, labour, the Interprovincial Alliance of Apprenticeship Board Chairs (IPA), educators, equity groups, the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA)] and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)].

As an information clearinghouse for data, information and activities that affect the apprenticeship community as a whole, CAF-FCA has identified a range of key issues that affect apprenticeship training such as:

  • perceived barriers to training
  • the business case for apprenticeship
  • the importance of promoting apprenticeship training as a valued and respected choice for post-secondary education

A notable finding is that only 18% of employers in skilled trades industries are currently hiring apprentices.

Going forward, the CAF-FCA is interested in increasing the number of skilled trades workers in Canada through high-quality apprenticeship programs and encouraging greater use of these programs by employers, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

A key element of this strategy is the availability of improved up-to-date and relevant information, tools and resources (which can be used on- and offline) targeted directly to employers.

The CAF-FCA is seeking project consulting services to update and transform the CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit into a dynamic, interactive and practical tool which engages employers, encourages them to participate in apprenticeship programs and create greater opportunities for apprentices.

Project Description

The purpose of this project is to update and revise the CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit. This is based on new research findings associated with CAF-FCA’s Employer Engagement Strategy which includes: how to recruit and retain women; updated return on training investment data; information on employer support mechanisms; and targeted information as to what apprentices are looking for in an employer.

The updated and revised CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit will reflect the latest research and employer input, and ensure that the Toolkit is timely and relevant, practical and usable. It will also be a user-friendly, interactive tool for employers - especially small and medium-sized employers - in the skilled trades, who currently do not participate in apprenticeship programs. The Toolkit will include a range of information including self-assessments, key messages, and links to resources.

This revised and updated CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit will enhance employer knowledge and awareness of the value and benefit of apprenticeship and encourage greater participation in the apprenticeship training program.

Approach

The Intersol Group is a team of experienced consulting, facilitation and learning professionals whose expertise lies in the ability to harness and build lasting organizational capacity for our clients.

We facilitate stakeholder engagement using an integrated, inclusive and participatory approach that strengthens your organization’s relationships, builds a robust community, and seeks way to increase and enhance communication throughout your ecosystem. We partner with our clients to co-create solutions that build their skill and confidence over the long term.

In obtaining stakeholder input and feedback for your project, Intersol has identified a parallel opportunity for engaging and communicating with internal and external stakeholders as a community to:

  • identify and recommend strategies for reducing resistance to change/transition;
  • identify opportunities and recommend strategies for increased stakeholder collaboration, performance and optimal workload distribution;
  • build support and momentum for buy-in, ownership and a sense of pride for this initiative;
  • leverage opportunities for new relationships, communication and Web 2.0 social networking.

Underpinning our approach is a focus on action research and learning to support meaningful project involvement, social/Web2.0 networking and mutual learning, in order to increase communication, advocacy, and sustainable project implementation. These activities will be developed in alignment with your strategic objectives, operational metrics, organizational culture and available resources.

Intersol proposes to use a highly-qualified team of two (2) consultants, who have successfully completed numerous projects pertaining to stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, facilitation, action research and planning. marketing, market research, communications, business analysis, synthesis and writing, effective learning / training design, change management and human / organization performance.

Methodology (Action Research)

The typical methodology to facilitating a group process of this nature would include:

PHASE 1 PHASE 2 PHASE 3 PHASE 4
Project Startup & Discovery
Design & Receive Feedback
Delivery
Report & Followup
  • Understand issues, pressures and dynamics
  • Achieve a shared view of the challenges and opportunities
  • Confirm project scope, timeline and deliverables
  • Meet with organizing / steering committees to understand their expectations and contribution to the desired objectives
  • Design for optimum contribution from stakeholders
  • Get input, direction and approval from client
  • Prepare an effective process design, plan and supporting sub-processes to deliver on specifics
  • Provide logistical advice
  • Facilitate for best possible dynamics
  • Empower stakeholders to participate
  • Work closely with client and foster environment for self-management
  • Keep records of key issues, discussion points, advice
  • Produce aggregate report incorporating feedback
  • Assess and debrief with the client
  • Examine causes of success
  • Note lessons learned
  • Share strategic observations which will contribute to future success

What this process implies, in real life, is the establishment of a strong working relationship with the client project team in all phases of the project.


Aligned to CAF-FCA Strategy

Intersol will facilitate and incorporate the themes of Employer Engagement and National Outreach into its activities by obtaining stakeholder/user input and feedback to help inform the revision of the Employer Toolkit. We will ensure ongoing alignment with CAF-FCA strategic objectives, operational metrics, organizational culture, messaging and available resources.

We will also use an action research/learning perspective as a means for assessing, involving and supporting stakeholders as they transition to using the revised CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit.

As part of Intersol's process for developing the CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit we will:

  • facilitate a collaborative approach with CAF staff, particularly the Project Manager and Working Group members as well as the CAF-FCA Web Designer;
  • conduct and facilitate Employer (end user) focus groups to discover their interests and needs about the apprenticeship program and their knowledge and interest in using interactive tools on the web;
  • analyze, synthesize CAF-FCA research findings and documentation;
  • analyze, synthesize and write Key Messages in consultation with the Working Group;
  • ensure a creative and interactive design that reflects the consultations, key messages, research data and communications.

Intersol recognizes that CAF-FCA Stakeholders have specific roles, interests and priorities pertaining to this project. We also recognize that Stakeholders constitute an important 'community of shared interest'. Accordingly, we will engage Stakeholders on both levels and will:

  • identify opportunities and recommend strategies for increasing stakeholder collaboration and overall capacity-building;
  • identify and recommend strategies for migrating to a new, revised CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit;
  • identify opportunities for ongoing employer involvement, use, feedback and participation;
  • build support and momentum for Employer buy-in and ownership;
  • identify and communicate opportunities to expand website interactivity, in a way that engages (and responds to) employers from coast-to-coast-to-coast, using traditional and social media/Web 2.0 channels.

Detailed Activity Plan, Budget Estimates & Deliverables

(image:comment.gif: Table Goes Here)

Intersol Capabilities

People Engagement, Innovation, Results

Who We Are

The Intersol Group is a team of experienced consulting, facilitation and learning professionals whose expertise lies in the ability to harness and build lasting organizational capacity for our clients.

Whether the focus is on shaping vision and strategy, on managing change, on stakeholder consultation, high performance teamwork or marketing and communications (including analyzing and synthesizing information and effective writing) Intersol helps organizations leverage the knowledge, experience and expertise inherent in their people. We do this by drawing on Intersol’s experience of over 18 years and 6,000 projects in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Our Expertise

Using processes, methods and tools that allow people to collaborate effectively and efficiently, our seasoned professionals work with our clients to:

  • Build collaborative solutions to complex problems. We partner with an organization’s leaders to address today’s complex challenges and opportunities. We help all members of the organization develop the knowledge and skills they need to be effective, healthy contributors towards desired outcomes.
  • Create a unique combination of perspective and approach. We leverage our clients’ content knowledge with our process expertise to create tailored programs that build organizational capacity.
  • Facilitate leadership, collaboration, innovation and results. Facilitation is the core competency of Intersol. We harness your leadership through our facilitative approach to create the right climate for stronger relationships and positive, lasting results.
  • Support and build capacity among your stakeholders. We work with your stakeholders to develop appropriate knowledge so they can contribute in meaningful ways, develop critical skills and achieve desired outcomes.

Roles, Responsibilities & Reporting Structure

Consultant

  • Reports to the Working Group through the Project Manager.
  • Liaises and works closely with the Project Manager throughout the project and immediately reports any problems that may alter the project timing or scope.
  • Notifies the Project Manager of scheduled activities so that the Project Manager or Working Group members (including the HRSDC project authority) can effectively participate.

Project Manager

  • Liaises with the Working Group and the Consultant.
  • Monitors Consultant performance as specified in the Terms of Reference.
  • Informs all parties (Working Group, Consultant, and HRSDC) regarding progress of the project.
  • Reports to the Working Group and the Executive Director during the project.
  • Arranges logistics pertaining to Working Group Meetings and Focus Groups.
  • Provides minutes from each Working Group meetings and conference call.
  • Maintains all contractual reporting requirements with respect to the Contribution Agreement.

Working Group

  • Provides the overall project guidance and direction to the Consultant during the project.
  • Validates and approves the project’s work plan, interim (draft) and final reports.
  • Provides timely feedback and input on project deliverables.

Proposed Resources

Intersol has put together the following team of our qualified consultants for this project. Detailed résumés for the consultants are provided as part of this proposal.

Co-Lead Consultant: Randy Fisher, MA

Randy will be responsible for project design and delivery, liaising with the client team, conducting individual and focus group facilitation and consulting activities; synthesizing research themes, focus group feedback / key messages and writing CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit communications.

Randy (aka WikiRandy) is a Senior Consultant and Facilitator with 15 years of experience related to stakeholder engagement, project management, coordination and implementation. He has specialized skills in marketing, communications and synthesizing and analyzing research and analytical reports for diverse audiences in the public, nonprofit and sectors.

Randy has excellent strategic, marketing / market research, and communications, and is able to sensitively bridge business and technology cultures -- engaging with diverse and multiple stakeholders to support project buy-in, ownership and a sense of pride. A former journalist with the Globe and Mail, The Financial Post and CBC Radio, he has excellent analytical, synthesizing and writing skills. He facilitates collaboration, action-learning and builds capacity in people (online and face-to-face) for high levels of interest, motivation and confidence, strategic leverage, and readiness for change / transition.

He also has expertise in Change Management and Performance Improvement; Organizational Design & Development, E-Learning and Building Sustainable Projects, Communities of Practice and Networks. He uses wikis, blogs and social networking and website tools for to increase user interaction and engagement, participatory learning and project implementation.

Familiarity with Apprenticeship Model

He helped develop the WikiMaster Skills Development and Certification Framework (using an Apprenticeship Model) for WikiEducator, a global community of 11,000+ educators, and a top 100,000 website. http://wikieducator.org/WikiMaster (This Framework supports the Learning4Content project (the biggest public wiki skills training project on the planet) funded by the Commonwealth of Learning and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation - http://www.wikieducator.org/Learning4Content).

He has also trained certified, mentored and coached new and advanced users to improve performance, achieve higher levels of skills mastery, and integrate these competencies into relevant projects.

Randy has an MA in Organization Management and Development (with a specialty in complex adaptive systems) from Fielding Graduate University, and is a Certified Advanced Technology Manager (CATA Alliance/Newbridge Networks). He also holds certifications in instructional design, train-the-trainer, wiki skills, MBTI, and The Birkman Method.

Relevant Experience

  • The Globe & Mail (Report on Business) - Business Reporting, Interviewing and Writing - http://www.globeandmail.com
  • The Financial Post - Business Reporting, Interviewing and Writing - http://www.financialpost.com
  • Canadian Advanced Technology Association (CATA Alliance) - Marketing, Communications and Writing -- http://www.cata.ca
  • Forintek Canada - Market Research, Communications Strategy, Writing and Implementation - http://www.forintek.ca
  • Public Policy Forum - Director, Communications - http://www.ppforum.com
  • The Commonwealth of Learning – Development and facilitation of communities of practice in community media, governance and leadership. http://www.col.org
  • International Centre for Open Education /Open Education Resource Foundation, New Zealand – Senior Consultant, Organization Development - http://www.wikieducator.org/WikiEducator:OER_Foundation/About
  • OER Africa (South African Institute of Distance Education (SAIDE). Reviewed redesigned website for stakeholder/community engagement, website interactivity, ease of navigation and general appeal.
  • WikiEducator - Community Engagement, Marketing and Communications for global community of educators – http://www.wikieducator.org
  • WikiEducator - WikiMaster Skills Development and Apprenticeship Certification Framework - http://wikieducator.org/WikiMaster
  • Analyzed and synthesized information from Community Needs Analysis of WikiEducator Community. Wrote FAQs, briefs, brochures, as part of a toolkit for WikiEducator Community and International Centre of Open Education / Open Education Resource Foundation, 2008 – 2009.

Co-Lead Consultant: Diane Brochu King, MA

Diane will be responsible for project design and delivery, liaising with the client team, conducting individual and focus group facilitation and consulting activities; synthesizing research themes and focus group feedback / key messages and writing CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit communications.

Diane is a bilingual Senior Consultant and IAF-certified Professional Facilitator. With over twenty years of experience, Diane’s practice is in communications, designing learning programs, group facilitation, stakeholder consultations, focus groups, design and facilitation of senior management meetings and retreats, visioning, strategic and program planning, process mapping, change and transition management and learning and development.

Diane has a well-earned reputation for working with clients in a practical and collaborative manner that helps them reach their desired outcomes. One of Diane’s strengths is her ability to ask the tough and necessary questions that others might not ask helping her clients drill down to the essential issues. She also ensures that the right people get asked the right questions. Diane’s expertise in both written and verbal interpersonal communication is an asset whether it’s for designing learning programs, forming key messages for strategic meetings or coaching her clients to deliver the right messages. Diane’s focus is always on the target recipient of the message. She brings the needed perspective to delivering key messages.

Diane has a Masters in Human Systems Intervention (organization development) from Concordia University and a BA (Social Communications) from the University of Ottawa. She has a certificate in Marketing and is an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) practitioner. Diane also has her Advanced Mediation certificate from the University of Windsor. Diane is also certified in the Insights and MBTI psychometric instruments as well as the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI), motivational value system assessment.

Relevant Experience

  • Design, development and delivery of “Chairing Effective Science based Peer Review Meetings” – DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, 2009
  • Courseware Design and Development - HRSDC, Grants and Contributions, January 2007 – January 2009
  • Design and delivery of an Employee Professional Development program (bilingual) Empire Life, Kingston, ON, October 2006 – December, 2008
  • Stakeholder engagement – City of Ottawa and Families Matter, May, 2008
  • Stakeholder engagement – Canadian Association of Travel & Tourism, February 2008
  • Stakeholder consultation (bilingual) – Canadian Food Inspection Agency, October, 2007

Other Intersol Resources

The above team will be supported by a note taker and report writer for the focus groups. Subject to client agreement, the project team may call upon other Intersol facilitators and/or consultants to support the delivery of the project. If this situation occurs, the Client will incur no additional expense or fees.

Management Structure

For the purposes of this project, both Randy and Diane will work as co-leads. They will share the majority of the work however Randy will take the lead on wordsmithing the key messages, with review by Diane, while Diane will take the lead on the design of the key elements and the look and feel of the toolkit, with review by Randy.

Professional Fees

Proposed Price

Based on the proposed solution outlined above, the proposed price for these services is $XXXX in Canadian dollars, plus GST and any applicable expenses and taxes.

Table: Price Breakdown

(image:comment.gif: Table Goes Here)

Payment and Contract Terms

Contracts and payments should be made to the name of:

Groupe Intersol Group Limited
205 Catherine St.,
Suite 300
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA
K2P 1C3

Invoices are due upon receipt; and work will be invoiced upon completion of agreed-upon milestones. This proposal is valid for 45 days.

Management Structure

For the purposes of this project, both Randy and Diane will work as co-leads. They will share the majority of the work however Randy will take the lead on wordsmithing the key messages, with review by Diane, while Diane will take the lead on the design of the key elements and the look and feel of the toolkit, with review by Randy.

References for Similar Projects

  • Design and delivery of WikiEducator’s WikiMaster Skills Development and Apprenticeship Certification Framework, 2009 - http://wikieducator.org/WikiMaster
  • Analyzed and synthesized information from Community Needs Analysis of WikiEducator Community. Wrote FAQs, briefs, brochures, as part of a toolkit for WikiEducator Community and International Centre of Open Education / Open Education Resource Foundation, 2008 – 2009.
  • Development of a national approach for monitoring for the Species at Risk Act – Fisheries & Oceans Canada, 2009
  • Design and delivery of a Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Forum for the Public Health Agency of Canada
  • (30-50 participants from research, policy and program delivery and design, both in headquarters and in the regions, met to discuss (1) research evidence, especially as it pertains to hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, STI and tuberculosis; (2) programming; (3) policy; and (4) how each interfaces with the other; to develop meaning from this information, e.g., to identify the implications of evidence for programming (and vice versa), and to identify gaps in both evidence, policy and programming; to identify opportunities & strategies to support and inform each other’s work and build connections between evidence, policy and programming in order to deliver more effective overall PHAC results.)
  • Design, development and delivery of “Chairing Effective Science based Peer Review Meetings” – DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, 2009
  • Design and delivery of an Employee Professional Development program (bilingual) Empire Life, Kingston, ON, 2006 – 2008
  • Consulting, facilitation and report-writing for Environment Canada, 2007.
  • (in support of a two-day workshop of the National Performance Promotion Working Group on Waste and PCBs (NPPWG). The objectives of the meeting were to share information and to finalize a workplan for the upcoming year.)
  • Courseware Design and Development - HRSDC, Grants and Contributions, 2007 –2009
  • Facilitated breakout session of the Competing for Tomorrow Summit, Council of the Federation, 2006
  • (a national summit with 300 stakeholders from the postsecondary education and skills training sectors. In the breakout session, a diverse group of stakeholders shared perspectives, identified challenges and strategies for the future, developed key actions in support of the strategies, and prepared a report for the subsequent plenary session.)

Resumes

(image:comment.gif: Resumes go here)

Notes for Completion

  1. Our Understanding of the Requirement
  2. Our proposed Approach
  3. Identification of our Team with BIOs and an explanation of the specifics of the role of each individual on this specific project
  4. Project References (if required) to demonstrate where we have done similar work in the past
  5. An up-to-date resume for each resource on the team to be included as an Appendix and including projects which demonstrate experience in the area we are bidding on
  6. A Detailed Workplan which identifies the Tasks to be performed, the estimated # days / resource (when there are more than one proposed resource)
  7. Pricing which is broken down as per the Workplan. This can essentially be the Workplan with an extra column to show the pricing and then this is normally submitted in a separate envelope.

Deliverables

The following deliverables will be expected at various stages of the project:

1. Work plan

  • Detailed work plan outlining activities, objectives and timelines. The work plan should highlight avenues and directions. All are subject to revisions.

2. Presentations and meeting with Working Group and Project Manager

  • Initial face-to-face meeting with the CAF-FCA Project Manager (location to be determined) to discuss work plan, establish a schedule of regular meetings, and progress reports.
  • Regular meetings with the CAF-FCA Project Manager to consult on project status, agenda items and any matters requiring resolution.
  • Attend Working Group meetings as required, to be scheduled upon the completion of major milestones such as completion of the draft toolkit.
  • Conference Calls as required with Working Group and Project Manager.
  • Consultants may be expected to facilitate parts of meetings/teleconferences.

3. Reports

  • Monthly progress reports – comparing actual progress with work plan, readjusting timelines if required, and highlighting potential issues, problems and opportunities.
  • Key messages
  • Draft Toolkit
  • Final Toolkit

(image:comment.gif: The final toolkit will be translated by CAF-FCA)

Additional Notes

  • 25 pages OR Less
  • 12 point font
  • No additional appendices.
  • References for similar projects completed by bidding organization.
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