Funding: Skills and Partnership Fund

The Skills and Partnership Fund is a demand-driven, partnership-based program that supports government priorities through strategic partnerships by funding projects contributing to the skills development and training of Indigenous workers for long-term, meaningful employment.

The Government of Canada is currently accepting applications for funding from Indigenous organizations interested in receiving financial assistance from the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF).

The purpose of this Applicant Guide is to provide information to assist you with the completion of your Application for Funding to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It is recommended that you read the Applicant Guide in its entirety before you start completing the Application for Funding.

Objective of this Call for Proposals

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) invites the submission of an Application for Funding from Indigenous organizations interested in obtaining time-limited SPF contribution funding. Proposals must demonstrate partnership-based approaches to the development of Training to Employment or Innovation activities improving employment outcomes of Indigenous people.

2016 Skills and Partnership Fund Call for Proposals information sessions

You are invited to join us for one of the three free webinars taking place on:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 13:00 – 14:30 EST (English)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 10:00 – 11:30 EST (French)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 13:00 – 14:30 EST (English)

Send an email to ALMP-PAMT@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca to register, specifying which session you wish to attend.

Call for Proposals Summary

  • The maximum duration of projects is four years (48 months).
  • The total amount of funding requested from ESDC must not exceed $10 million per project.
  • Under the Training to Employment stream, proposals will receive additional consideration if at least 50% of the total project value comes from partners (e.g. from large, private-sector organizations).
  • As this is a competitive process, not all proposals submitted under this CFP will be selected; funding is limited and subject to ESDC’s annual budget considerations and allocation of funds by Parliament.
  • The Government of Canada reserves the right to accept a proposal, in whole or in part, and give consideration to factors such as geographic coverage, and official language requirements.

Apply Now

ESDC is currently accepting applications for funding from Indigenous organizations interested in receiving financial assistance from the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF).

Eligibility Information

Highlights

For this Call for Proposals (CFP), ESDC encourages applicants to submit their application on its new Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) system. GCOS is a secure web environment for applying for programs that will allow you to manage your agreements with ESDC online in an efficient way (e.g. with 24/7 access and the ability to submit financial claims and reports electronically). Registering with GCOS can take up to two (2) weeks; therefore, we invite you to register on the GCOS Registration site if you have not already registered.

Information on submitting applications via mail or email is available under the Apply tab.

Eligible Projects

For the purpose of this CFP, funding will be provided to successful applicants whose proposals demonstrate partnership-based approaches to improving employment outcomes of Indigenous people in the Training to Employment and/or Innovation funding stream. If an applicant wishes to apply for funding under both the Training to Employment and Innovation streams, a separate application must be submitted for each stream.

Each of the following requirements must be met in order for projects to be considered eligible for funding:

Training to Employment

  • A target of a minimum of 50 employed clients over the course of the project, in skilled and long-term jobs (i.e. at least one year duration). Proposals with commitments for less than 50 employed clients, particularly if the job opportunities are skilled and long-term, may also be considered. However, preference will be given to those projecting to meet or exceed this target.
  • Effective project management oversight, through equitable representation of Indigenous and contributing partners, and federal officials as ex-officio members, on established advisory committees overseeing the project.
  • Direct link to an Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) agreement holder or other service delivery provider (e.g. educational institution, other ESDC programs, etc.) for projects that include pre-employment or essential skills training activities.
  • Total administration costs to be covered by ESDC do not exceed 15% of the total ESDC funding requested.
  • Evidence of efforts to engage the provincial or territorial government as a partner, or a clear explanation of why they are not an appropriate partner.
  • A clear breakdown of cash and in-kind contributions, accompanied by written confirmation from partners.

Innovation

  • Effective project management oversight, through equitable representation of Indigenous and contributing partners, and federal officials as ex-officio members, on established advisory committees overseeing the project.
  • Direct link to an Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) agreement holder or other service delivery provider (e.g. educational institution, other ESDC programs, etc.) for projects that include pre-employment or essential skills training activities.
  • Total administration costs to be covered by ESDC do not exceed 15% of the total ESDC funding requested.
  • Evidence of efforts to engage the provincial or territorial government as a partner, or a clear explanation of why they are not an appropriate partner.
  • A clear breakdown of cash and in-kind contributions, accompanied by written confirmation from partners.

Across both streams of this CFP, the earliest anticipated start date could be October 1, 2016.

Partnerships

The proposed project must demonstrate a partnership-based approach.

There is a significant difference between support and partnership. A supporter endorses a project, whereas a partner makes a contribution and plays an active role. Under the Training to Employment stream, proposals will receive additional consideration if at least 50% of the total project value is contributed by partners (e.g. from large, private-sector organizations). Other federal government funding cannot be considered a cash contribution. An applicant may not identify a separate department or division of its own organization as the sole partner. The Application for Funding must identify confirmed partners and the contributions they are committing to the project and what the funding will be used for.

A partner commitment letter template is included under the Apply tab. Use of the template is not mandatory but is highly recommended to ensure that partner letters include a sufficient level of detail of what their contribution will be to the project and explain how the partner will participate in the operation and oversight of the project.

Eligible Recipients

Only Indigenous organizations* are eligible to submit proposals. This may include (but is not limited to): incorporated for-profit and not-for-profit Indigenous controlled organizations; Indigenous-controlled unincorporated organizations; Indian Act bands; band or tribal councils; and Indigenous self-government entities.

A non-Indigenous organization cannot apply on behalf of an Indigenous organization.

* As per Treasury Board Aboriginal Business Procurement Policy and Incentives – Contracting Policy Notice 1996-2, an Indigenous organizations defined as a sole proprietorship, limited company, cooperative, partnership, or not-for-profit organization in which;

  • Indigenous persons have majority ownership and control, meaning at least 51 percent; and,
  • in the case of a business enterprise with six or more full-time employees, at least 33 percent of the full-time employees are Indigenous persons.

Eligible Participants

Eligible participants in Training to Employment and Innovation projects must be Indigenous Canadians.

Eligible Activities

Stream 1: Training to Employment

The Training to Employment stream will target projects that aim to enhance the skills and access to employment of Indigenous people.

Training to Employment activities may include: job-specific education, skills training and upgrading; apprenticeship support; job retention counselling; job supports, including child care for parents participating in labour market programming; targeted training for specific client groups (e.g. youth, women, persons with disabilities, urban, rural, off-reservation); self-employment programming; and targeted employer partnerships with small and medium enterprises.

Training to Employment activities will be assessed on the following:

  • clarity of described activities and delivery model;
  • how activities are linked to the project objectives;
  • locations of activities and activity providers are identified;
  • provision of approach for support and guidance (e.g. job coaching, follow-ups, etc.) to participants;
  • activities have a logical flow, and timelines are clearly identified and reasonable; and
  • how activities focus on training-to-employment leading to concrete employment outcomes which may include job-focused skills, development training and service delivery improvements.

Preference will be given to projects that include a strategy in place targeting the skills development and training needs of women and youth.

Stream 2: Innovation

The Innovation stream will target projects that test innovative approaches to enhance the employability of Indigenous people by addressing a broader range of socio-economic challenges within Indigenous communities (e.g. homelessness, addictions, lower education attainment). As a complement to the Training to Employment stream, projects funded through the Innovation stream will be expected to test new approaches to delivering community-based labour market programming that will address challenges in skills development and labour market participation of Indigenous people.

Examples of projects that meet the objective of the Innovation stream include:

  • The development of a new business model to support the ongoing (sustainable) funding of training-to-employment opportunities in a sector;
  • Testing different types of training-to-employment approaches that are more appropriate in addressing the challenges of increasing the employability of Indigenous communities, are more cost effective or improve overall success rates (e.g. clients trained to employed ratio);
  • New types of partnerships (e.g. charitable foundations, entrepreneurial not-for-profit organizations) that provide an innovative response to the usual barriers to employment for Indigenous people, as well as a new type of collaboration in addressing these broader socio-economic challenges; and
  • Multi-sector projects addressing multiple barriers to employment (e.g. skills development and homelessness or addictions), aiming at systemic changes through innovative approaches.

Innovation activities will be assessed on the following:

  • clarity of described activities and delivery model;
  • how activities are linked to the project objectives;
  • locations of activities and activity providers are identified;
  • provision of approach for support and guidance (e.g. counselling, case management, follow-ups, etc.) to participants;
  • activities have a logical flow, and timelines are clearly identified and reasonable; and
  • how activities focus on innovative approaches to addressing socio-economic issues which may include skills development training and service delivery improvements leading to improved employability.

The evaluation criteria will be weighted differently to allow recognition of the innovative approach. Preference will be given to projects that include a strategy in place targeting the skills development and training needs of women and youth.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs include:

  • project administration and overhead costs, such as wages and benefits, rental of office space, and telecommunication costs that are directly related to the administration or delivery of the project;
  • equipment rental (capital asset purchases may be allowed where it can be demonstrated to be more cost-effective over the life of the project), such as computers and office equipment;
  • materials and supplies directly related to the project;
  • costs associated with printing, translation and dissemination of project reports;
  • communications activities, including promotional material and activities, through print, web-based and other media;
  • costs related to the case management of participants, such as counselling, mentoring, skills testing and needs evaluation, pre-employment training, post-secondary training, apprenticeship training, technical training, on-site training, literacy and essential skills training;
  • Income support for participants, such as allowances, child care, wage subsidies or wage simulations, accommodation and transportation;
  • costs for the provision of food to participants in training activities where it provides nourishment that is considered to contribute to the participants' successful completion of their training;
  • costs of participant wages and the employer's share of employment-related costs for participants;
  • professional fees related to audit, evaluation and assessment;
  • professional fees for expertise not available through the organization or partners (for example, services provided by Indigenous elders; individuals receiving a salary from the sponsoring or partner organizations are not eligible to be paid as consultants);
  • travel within Canada that is directly related to the project activities; and
  • other costs that, in the opinion of the Minister, are necessary to carry out the project.

Ineligible costs include:

  • capital improvements, such as the construction or renovation of buildings (other than repairs or renovations to support the participation of persons with disabilities);
  • administrative overhead not directly related to the administration of the project;
  • international travel;
  • costs associated with fundraising activities;
  • Canada Revenue Agency or payroll penalties and interest;
  • traffic fines and penalties;
  • parking passes;
  • food, other than described under Eligible costs;
  • legal fees and court awards for inappropriate dismissal or other inappropriate/illegal activity;
  • membership fees for private clubs, golf clubs, gyms, etc.;
  • staff salary bonuses;
  • purchase of alcoholic beverages;
  • mentor wages (under Youth projects); and
  • gifts or payments for recognition (e.g. honoraria, ex gratia payments).

Total administration costs to be covered by ESDC must not exceed 15% of the total ESDC funding requested.

Next Step

Eligibility Requirements

1 – Complete Application for Funding

  1. The completed Application for Funding was received no later than the stated closing date (July 5, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST) for the Call for Proposals (CFP).
  2. The Application for Funding was submitted by the authorized representative(s) of the organization and contains signatures of your organization’s signing officers.
  3. All required documents are attached to the Application for Funding:
    • Partner commitment letters (must be signed and on partner's letterhead).
    • The completed Budget Detail Template.
    • Forecast of Project Expenditures by Fiscal Year
    • Organizations by-laws or letters of incorporation.
    • A copy of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) determination of whether or not an Environmental Assessment is required.
  4. The Application for Funding does not exceed the maximum number of pages (30).

2 – Eligible Recipient

The Application for Funding was submitted by an Indigenous recipient.

Only Indigenous organizations* are eligible to submit proposals. This may include (but is not limited to):

  • incorporated for-profit and not-for-profit Indigenous controlled organizations;
  • Indigenous-controlled unincorporated organizations;
  • Indian Act bands, band or tribal councils; and
  • Indigenous self-government entities.

3 – Eligible Project

  1. The maximum duration of the project is four years (48 months).
  2. The amount of funding requested from ESDC does not exceed $10 million per project.
  3. The proposed project must demonstrate a partnership-based approach.
  4. The project is identified as one of the two following streams:
    1. Training to Employment; or
    2. Innovation

The application must meet all the eligibility requirements stated above in order to be deemed eligible for funding. An application that does not meet one or more of the requirements will be rejected.

Assessment Criteria

A – Project Relevance (Max score / 15)

  1. Understanding of the objectives of this CFP and overall relevance of the proposal to CFP requirements (Max score / 15):
  2. Proposals must demonstrate partnership-based approaches to the development of Training to Employment or Innovation activities.

B – Plan to Manage the Project (Max score / 40)

  1. Project activities (Max score / 20):

    Proposals must provide a clear description of each activity. Activities should be specific, realistic and relevant to the project objectives and demonstrate how the project outcome(s) will be achieved. Timelines must be clearly established and feasible.

  2. Experience in delivering similar activities and achieving positive results (Max score / 5):

    Proposals must include a description of past projects (with ESDC/Service Canada or other funders) and their achievements in order to demonstrate that:

    • the applicant has previous experience in delivering Training to Employment-type projects for Indigenous clients; and
    • the applicant has successfully delivered past projects and achieved positive results.

  3. Expected results of the project (Max score / 15):
  4. The expected results of Training to Employment projects will be assessed on the following:

    • Project outcomes are clearly identified.
    • Inclusion of short- and long-term impacts on the participants and the region.
    • Inclusion of number of participants to be a) served, and b) employed through the proposed activities.
    • Outcomes are clearly measurable and linked to project activities, and include sustainability of employment.

    The expected results of Innovation projects will be assessed on the following:

    • Project outcomes are clearly identified.
    • Inclusion of short- and long-term impacts on the participants and the region.
    • Inclusion of number of participants to be a) served and b) who will have improved their employability through the proposed activities.
    • Outcomes are clearly measurable and linked to project activities.

    The expected results must also be specific, concrete and measurable.

    Proposals must include qualitative and quantitative results measurement indicators. The results must be measurable and clearly linked to this CFP’s objectives, project-specific objectives and project activities.

C – Budget (Max score / 15)

  1. Eligible and reasonable project costs (Max score / 15):

    The project costs must be eligible, realistic and reasonable given the number of participants, the type and length of the activities, the geographic region and the projected employment outcomes.

D – Partnerships and Impacts (Max score / 30)

  1. Partnerships (Max score / 20):
  2. Training to Employment proposals must outline:

    • the level of contribution from each partner;
    • the clarity and scope of partners' roles and responsibilities (must be confirmed in partner commitment letters);
    • a target of a minimum of 50 employed clients, over the course of the project, in skilled and long-term jobs (i.e. at least one year duration). Proposals with commitments for less than 50 employment opportunities may also be considered, particularly if the job opportunities are skilled and long-term; however, preference will be given to those projecting to meet or exceed this target;
    • the relevance of partnership to the project;
    • effective project management oversight, through equitable representation of Indigenous and contributing partners, and federal officials as ex-officio members, on established advisory committees overseeing the project;
    • evidence of efforts to engage the provincial or territorial government as a partner, or an explanation of why they are not an appropriate partner; and
    • a direct link to an ASETS agreement holder or other service delivery providers (e.g. educational institution, other ESDC programs, etc.) for projects that include pre-employment or essential skills training.

    Innovation proposals must outline:

    • the level of contribution from partners;
    • the clarity and scope of partners' roles and responsibilities (must be confirmed in partner commitment letters);
    • the relevance of partnership to the project;
    • the nature of partnerships with non-traditional stakeholders (e.g. social enterprise organizations, Indigenous enterprise organizations);
    • effective project management oversight, through equitable representation of Indigenous and contributing partners, and federal officials as ex-officio members, on established advisory committees overseeing the project;
    • evidence of efforts to engage the provincial or territorial government as a partner, or an explanation of why they are not an appropriate partner; and
    • a direct link to an ASETS agreement holder or other service delivery providers (e.g. educational institution, other ESDC programs, etc.) for projects that include pre-employment or essential skills training.
  3. Contributions from other sources (Max score / 10):
  • Training to Employment proposals will receive additional consideration if at least 50% of the total project value is contributed by partners (e.g. large, private-sector organizations). A clear breakdown of cash and in-kind contributions, accompanied by written confirmation from partners must be provided.
  • Innovation stream proposals must have a clear breakdown of cash and in-kind contributions, accompanied by written confirmation from partners.

E – Additional Priorities (Max score / 10)

  1. Jobs for Women and Youth (Max score / 5):
  2. Proposals that contain a strategy targeting the skills development and training needs of women and youth are eligible to receive additional points.

  3. Additional Government Priorities (Max score / 5):
  4. Proposals that address departmental priorities (e.g. on-reserve health care, water and waste water treatment, housing, green industries) are eligible to receive additional points.

Next Step

How to Complete Your Application for Funding

Please read this section carefully before completing your application. Provide your answers on the Application Form template and attach only the documents requested.

All required documents must be attached; otherwise your application will be considered incomplete and screened out. You are required to submit your application to Employment and Social Development (ESDC) in one complete package by the closing date of the Call for Proposals (CFP). If you need additional space to answer any of the questions, please use the space provided in Appendix A of the Application for Funding.

There is flexibility in the Application for Funding for situations where the information requested may not apply to all organizations or may be best provided through some other means. You may leave a section blank only where the following terms are present:

  • “if applicable”
  • “if different”

Additional Documents Required

Listed below are additional document(s) that are required to be submitted with your Application for Funding.

Please ensure that your submission package includes all of the following:

  • a signed, completed Application for Funding template;
  • a copy of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) determination of whether or not an Environmental Assessment is required;
  • a signed, completed Budget Detail Template (Annex B);
  • a Forecast of Project Expenditures;
  • partner commitment letters (must be signed and, on partner's letterhead);
  • organization by-laws/letters of incorporation; and
  • signatures of your organization’s signing officers.

The Application for Funding must not exceed 30 pages. Any information after page 30 will not be considered. Electronic links to additional information will not be considered. Other required documentation, such as partner commitment letters and the applicant organization’s by-laws or letters of incorporation, is not included in the 30-page limit.

Part 1 – Organization

Section 1A – Organization Identification

ESDC uses the information you provide in this section to establish your organization’s identity.

Question 1 – Legal Name

Please provide the legal name of your organization. This is the name associated with your registration with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This must be an exact match to what was captured when your organization registered with the CRA. This could also be the name that appears on funding cheques.

If there is a discrepancy between these two sets of information, the Department will be unable to validate your application.

Question 2 – Operating (Common) Name (if different from legal name)

Please provide the operating (or common) name of your organization if it is different from the legal name.

Question 3 – Business or Registration Number

Please provide your 15-digit CRA business number or, for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations, your registration number.

Example: 123456789 RR 0001

For more information, please visit the CRA website.

Question 4 – Organization Type

Your answer to this question must be one of the following:

  1. Not-for-Profit
  2. Private; or
  3. Public.

Indigenous organizations are eligible recipients under the SPF program. This may include incorporated for-profit and not-for-profit Indigenous controlled organizations, Indigenous controlled unincorporated associations, Indian Act bands, tribal councils and Indigenous self-government entities. An organization may be eligible for multi-year agreements, based on the strength of the project proposal.

Question 5 – Organization Category

Please select the appropriate category from the following:

Not-for-Profit

  1. Indigenous Not-for-Profit Groups
  2. Associations of Workers and/or Employers
  3. International Non-governmental Organizations
  4. Local Community, Charitable, Voluntary Organizations
  5. Non-governmental Organizations with a focus to encourage employment
  6. National Non-governmental Organizations
  7. Not-for-Profit Band Councils
  8. Provincial Non-governmental Organizations
  9. Sector Councils
  10. Unions

Private

  1. Banks
  2. Businesses, Bodies Incorporated or Unincorporated
  3. Indian Band Corporations (profit basis)
  4. International Sector
  5. Band Councils
  6. Private Universities and Colleges

Public

  1. Contributions to Provinces and Territories
  2. International Government Organizations
  3. Municipal Governments and Agencies
  4. Provincial Governments and Agencies
  5. Public Degree-Granting Colleges
  6. Public Degree-Granting Universities
  7. Public Community Colleges and Vocational Schools
  8. Public Health
  9. School Board/Other Educational Institution Not Classified Elsewhere
  10. Territorial Governments
Question 6 – Year Established

Please indicate the year your organization was established.

Questions 7 to 11 – Organization Address

Please indicate the address of your organization. Applicants must provide a complete address in a format recognized by Canada Post. Information is available on the Canada Post website.

Questions 12 and 13 – Telephone and Fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the organization.

Question 14 – Email Address

Please indicate the email address of the organization.

Questions 15 to 19 - Mailing Address

Please indicate the mailing address if different from your organization’s address.

Questions 20 and 21 – Telephone and Fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers, if different from those for your organization’s address.

Question 22 – Organization’s Mandate

Please describe the primary work of your organization, including your mission, mandate and objectives.

Section 1B – Organization Contact

Please provide a main contact for the purposes of communicating with your organization about this project. This could be a project manager or coordinator, an executive director or someone else. Typically, the person responsible for the project is identified here.

Question 23 – Given Name and Surname

Please provide the name of the person in your organization who will be ESDC’s main contact for the project.

Question 24 – Position Title

Please provide the title of the organization contact identified in Question 23.

Example: Executive Director

Question 25 – Preferred Language of Communication

Please indicate the preferred language of the organization’s main contact for both written and spoken communication.

  • EN indicates English
  • FR indicates French
Question 26 – Organization Contact – Address

Please indicate whether the address for the Organization Contact is the same address as the Organization Address or the Organization Mailing Address given in Section 1A. If different, please indicate in the box.

Questions 27 to 31 – Contact Address

If you selected “Different” in Question 26, please provide the address for the Organization Contact here.

Questions 32 and 33 – Telephone and Fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the Organization Contact.

Question 34 – Email Address

Please indicate the email address of the Organization Contact. Please note that this is where all correspondence will be sent.

Section 1C – Organizational Capacity

The Department uses the information provided in this section to help assess the organization’s capacity to manage a project.

Question 35 – How many employees does your organization currently have?

Please indicate the number of people employed in your organization. The number of employees must be a whole number.

Question 36 – Has your organization undergone any important transformations in the past two years?

Important transformations refers to events such as a change in leadership in the board of directors or at the executive level, an important reduction, increase or turn-over in staff, a merger with or split from another organization, a change in mandate or main activities, etc.

If you answer yes, please provide a description of the changes.

Question 37 – Please describe how your organization has the experience and expertise to carry out the proposed project activities. If applicable, please include any past experience with ESDC and the results of the project.

Please provide a description of your organization’s experience and expertise in administering projects. This information will help the Department to assess the extent to which your organization is capable of undertaking the proposed project activities and achieving the expected results. You may wish to highlight related past achievements in addition to describing current expertise and activities or projects.

If your organization has previously delivered Training to Employment projects or projects similar to what you are proposing to deliver under the SPF, please provide examples to demonstrate your delivery capacity. If you have not previously delivered projects similar to what you are proposing under the SPF, please describe your organization’s capacity to engage in partnerships for successful delivery.

Question 38 – Does your organization owe any amounts to the Government of Canada?

If yes, please indicate the amounts owing in the spaces provided. See the following example:

Example:

Amount owing Nature of amount owing Department or agency to which money is owed
$10,000 Overpayment Employment and Social Development Canada

Answering "Yes" to this question will not invalidate your application. However, you must provide details as to the type of debt owed and the arrangements that have been made for repayment.

Question 39 – If an amount is owing, is a payment plan in place?

Please indicate whether or not payment arrangements have been made.

Part 2 – Project

Section 2A – Project Identification

Question 40 – Project Title

Please provide a brief, descriptive project title.

Questions 41 and 42 – Planned Project Start and End Dates

Please indicate the planned start and end dates of your project. For the purpose of this CFP, SPF projects may start as early as October 1, 2016, and must not exceed four years (48 months) duration.

Activities cannot begin before your project is approved and an agreement has been signed by both the recipient and ESDC.

You should not assume any commitment on the part of ESDC until funding has been approved and a formal agreement has been signed by a representative of ESDC. ESDC will notify you in writing of the outcome of the review of your application.

Section 2B – Project Description

The Department uses the information you provide in this section as part of the assessment in determining whether or not your proposed project is eligible for funding.

The project description must describe what the project will accomplish and provide information on how it meets the objective of the SPF program.

The objective of the SPF is to enable Indigenous organizations to experiment and to be innovative by using partnerships to create appropriate labour market products and services for Indigenous people.

Information in this section must provide:

  • clear indication of what the project is and why it is important;
  • clear and relevant labour market information that demonstrates why the project is needed;
  • analysis of the regional Indigenous labour force, including current education and skill levels; and
  • a solid rationale for why the project should be funded by ESDC.
Question 43 – Project Objectives

Please outline the objectives of your project.

Project objectives should (but are not limited to):

  • be consistent with the funding program’s objectives;
  • identify a specific outcome(s) that the project is designed to accomplish (e.g. expected employment results);
  • ensure that these outcome(s) are measurable;
  • identify who will benefit from the project (e.g. Official Language Minority Community); and
  • show how meeting the project objectives will help to achieve the identified outcomes.

In this section, the project objectives must:

  • be clear, reasonable, and achievable within the project budget and timeframe; and
  • describe how the project will prepare Indigenous people for current and future employment opportunities.
Question 44 – Project Activities

Please describe, in full detail, the proposed project activities.

Project activities are the steps that will be taken to meet the objectives of the project. Activities should be specific, measurable, realistic and relevant to the project objectives and demonstrate how the project outcome(s) will be achieved.

Your project should be broken down into various steps (milestones) that reliably show your expected progress and plans to complete the project on time and within budget.

Please include details about how the project will be delivered. For example, will there be third-party agreements, or will the organization deliver all aspects of the project?

There should be a clear link between the project activities and the project costs outlined in the project budget. The information you provide here will have a significant bearing on the assessment of your project and of your organization’s ability to undertake the project successfully.

There are natural stages in a project timeline. The description of project activities should be broken down into those natural stages (or their equivalents):

  • Project Timelines
    • This section is not meant to describe the project duration. Project timelines include activity progress, milestones, and participant progress
  • Setup and Recruitment
    • Include information on how the project will be set up as well how staff and participants will be recruited.
  • Activities
    • Describe in detail the activities of the proposed project.
    • It is important to identify the roles and responsibilities of partners or service providers related to each activity.
  • Action/Milestones (implementation and/or testing and/or validation)
    • Please describe how you will measure the activities and milestones of your project. This section will be used to monitor the progress of your project.
  • Wind down and close-out
    • “Wind down” refers to the project’s closing down operations, usually within the last quarter of the project.
    • Please describe how you will wind down your project activities, taking into account disposal of any capital assets, and any overpayments to the Department.
    • Close-out occurs when the project has come to an end and the Department has received and processed required information. This process determines and documents whether the organization has:
      • met project objectives;
      • completed activities; and,
      • achieved expected results.
  • Reporting and Evaluation

Example:

If you need to run a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to contract two facilitators for contracts greater than $25,000 in value, the RFP process should be among your start-up activities and should include realistic timeframes. The activities carried out by the facilitators would not begin until the development or action stages, or at least until after the RFP selection process is complete.

Question 45 – Expected Results of the Project

Please summarize the expected results of your project. The expected results of the project must be clearly linked to the project objectives. They must also be specific, concrete and measurable.

Expected results may be defined in different ways, for example (but are not limited to):

To meet the mandatory requirement set out in the Assessment Criteria of this document, applicants under the Training to Employment stream must target a minimum of 50 employed clients, over the course of the project, in skilled and long-term jobs (i.e. at least one year duration). Proposals with commitments for less than 50 employment opportunities may be considered, particularly if the job opportunities are skilled and long-term. However, preference will be given to those projecting to meet or exceed this target.

Example of expected results under the Training to Employment stream:

  • # participants will be served over the life of the project; and
  • # participants will become employed by the end of the project.

Example of expected results under the Innovation stream:

  • # participants will be served over the life of the project; and
  • # participants will improve employability by the end of the project.

Section C – Project Details

Question 46 – Does the project include results measurement indicators?

Please describe how you will meet and track the expected results of the project.

Having a clear strategy to measure results is the best way to ensure that you know how your project is progressing towards meeting the expected results. The Department uses the information you provide in this section to assess the quality of your application and your capacity to demonstrate results.

Please indicate how you will monitor the project over its duration, including the activities, budget, partner contributions and results, to know whether the project is on track and meeting its deliverables. Explain how and when you will collect the data needed to measure the results, and how you will review and adjust the activities and management of the project if milestones and expected results are not being met or activities are not successful.

To assist your organization in developing this section of the proposal, it may be helpful to be aware of monitoring and reporting requirements set out in the SPF contribution agreement. SPF agreement holders must:

  • provide individual participants and third-party agreement holders in receipt of funding with clear expectations for the objectives and results of their funding;
  • monitor project investments, including activity monitoring of individuals, and activity and financial monitoring of third party agreements. Monitoring must be documented. Activity monitoring may include such things as periodic site visits, telephone calls and questionnaires;
  • provide third-party agreement holders with the advice and support needed to implement the agreement, and take appropriate measures to correct agreement breaches;
  • collect specific personal information about project participants, including the type of interventions followed and outcomes achieved through the SPF project. This information will need to be uploaded electronically quarterly to Canada;
  • submit monthly or quarterly financial claims to Canada; and
  • submit a final report to Canada at the end of the project period.

Should you choose to conduct a formal evaluation during the project, the expenses associated with the evaluation are eligible for reimbursement and should be included in your budget. Details of the formal evaluation should be included in the Application for Funding.

Question 47 – Does the proposed project fit with your organization’s other activities?

Please describe how the project relates to the ongoing work of your organization. You may wish to highlight how past achievements and current activities and/or projects are related to your proposed project. This information helps the Department to determine the extent to which your organization is able to undertake the proposed project and to achieve the expected results.

Please explain how the project will be managed, including: the roles of key staff; use of contracted consultants and contract oversight; financial control and oversight measures; and roles of the board of directors, partners and other stakeholders (including, for example the project advisory committee).

Question 48 – Will any of the project activities be delivered in a different location than where your organization is located?

Please indicate “Yes” or “No”. If “Yes”, please list the main address first, followed by each additional location.

If there are more than five locations, please include relevant location information in Appendix A.

Question 49 – Is your project designed to benefit or involve people in English or French-language minority communities?

ESDC is committed to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minorities in Canada by supporting and assisting their development and fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. Official Language Minority Communities are English-speaking communities established within the province of Quebec and French-speaking communities established outside the province of Quebec.

If your proposed project will involve official language minority communities, you should answer ‘Yes’ to this question and ensure that this is listed and described in your answer to Question 43 - Project Objectives.

Please also identify the linguistic profile of the beneficiaries targeted by the project, document any special needs of the official language minority community and indicate whether or not they were consulted. The related budgetary items can be identified in Part 3 of the Application.

Answering "No" to this question will not invalidate your application.

Question 50 – Will any other organizations, networks, or partners be involved in carrying out the project?

The SPF program requires applicants to secure the involvement of other organizations, networks, or partners and that these stakeholders be part of an established project advisory committee. Please describe the nature of the partnerships and the expertise they will bring to the project. Please describe the role that the advisory committee will have in the oversight and success of the project.

This information will help the Department to assess the support base for your project.

To meet the mandatory requirement set out in the eligibility section of this Applicant Guide, SPF applicants must clearly demonstrate a direct link to an ASETS agreement holder or other service delivery provider (e.g. educational institution, other ESDC programs, etc.) for projects that include pre-employment or essential skills training.

SPF projects must demonstrate partnership-based approaches.

There is a significant difference between support and partnership. A supporter endorses a project, whereas a partner makes a contribution and plays an active role. Under the Training to Employment stream, proposals will receive additional consideration if at least 50% of the total project value is contributed by partners (e.g. from large, private-sector organizations). Other federal government funding cannot be considered as a cash contribution. Both cash and in-kind contributions by the applicant organization or funding partner(s) will be accepted as combined leveraged funding.

Under the Training to Employment stream, a target of a minimum of 50 employed clients, over the course of the project, in skilled and long-term jobs (i.e. at least one year duration). Proposals with commitments for less than 50 employment opportunities may also be considered, particularly if the job opportunities are skilled and long-term. However, preference will be given to those projecting to meet or exceed this target.

The information provided in this section of the proposal should clearly describe each partner's role and contribution to the project and how the partnership is relevant to achieving the project objectives.

An applicant may not identify a separate department or division of its own organization as the sole partner.

Question 51 – Does the proposed project address the program’s national, regional or local priorities?

Please indicate “Yes” or “No”. If “Yes”, please select all that apply.

All proposals submitted to the SPF should address the program’s current national priority of preparing Indigenous people for long-term, meaningful employment.

Question 52 – Does your project include activities that are listed in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) Regulations Designating Physical Activities established under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012?

Applicants need to verify if their proposed activities are listed under the above Act – Please visit the web site to access the list of Regulations Designating Physical Activities.

Please indicate “Yes” or “No”.

If the answer is “No”, no Environmental Assessment will be required

If the answer is “Yes”, then, as per the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the applicant must submit the project description electronically to the CEAA for further review. The CEAA will determine if an Environmental Assessment (EA) is required based on the project description.

Important: Departmental funding will be conditional upon receipt by the Department of CEAA confirmation that an EA is not required, or a copy of the completed EA and confirmation that your organization is equipped to appropriately address the EA findings.

Part 3 – Funding

Section 3A – Anticipated Sources of Funding Contribution

The Department’s funding programs generally encourage and/or require applicants to seek cash and/or in-kind contributions for their proposed project from other sources of funding. Each program has a “stacking limit”, that is, a maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for any one project or initiative. Contributions to the project cannot exceed 100% of eligible expenditures.

The Department uses the information provided in this section to verify that your funding request conforms to any stacking limit or requirement for funding from other sources.

“Other sources of funding” includes any source of funding (including from your organization) other than the program to which you are applying for funding.

Under the Training to Employment stream, proposals will receive additional consideration if at least 50% of the total project value comes from partners (e.g. from large, private-sector organizations). A clear breakdown of cash and in-kind contributions accompanied by written confirmation from partners is required.

A template partner commitment letter is included in Appendix D of the “Develop Your Application” tab. Your partners are not obligated to use the template in creating their commitment letters; however, use of the template is highly recommended to ensure that partner letters include a sufficient level of detail and commitment and explain how the partner will participate in the project.

Question 53 – Source Name

Please include the name of the organization that will contribute funds and/or in-kind contributions to this project. The Department should be listed as the first source name and any other sources listed below.

Cash and in-kind contributions must be committed to in writing by the contributing party in a letter that contains:

  • the name and contact information of the contributing partner organization; and
  • confirmation of a committed contribution to the project, including the percentage of total project cost.

Each letter must be signed by an authorized authority of the contributing partner (e.g. Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, etc.) attesting that the contributions are readily available once the project is approved.

Question 54 – Source Type

Use the following list to identify the type of anticipated funding partner:

  • Crown Corporation
  • Federal Department or Agency
  • Foreign Governments
  • Not-for-Profit
  • Private Sector
  • Provincial/Territorial Government
  • Regional or Municipal Government
  • Sponsor/Organization/Recipient
  • Union
  • Other (please specify)

SPF applicants must identify all other federal government programs, agencies and departments that may contribute funding to the project.

Question 55 – Cash

Please include the amount of funding that will be provided by partners to the project. Cash contributions are funds given by a partner to the applicant organization, deposited in the organization's bank account, and used toward eligible project costs.

Question 56 – In-kind ($ value)

In-kind contributions are non-monetary goods or services that may be contributed to the project by your organization or other organizations or partners for which your organization will not be requesting re-imbursement. In-kind support may include donated equipment, services and/or facilities necessary for the proposed project that would otherwise have to be purchased.

To be considered valid, in-kind contributions should contribute to the success of the project, and their monetary equivalent be estimated at fair market value.

The amount listed should match the in-kind valuations specified by the partners in their commitment letters. The template partner commitment letter includes sample valuations of in-kind contributions.

Question 57 – Confirmed Cash and In-Kind

Cash and in-kind contributions should be committed to in writing by the contributing partner. Please check (x) if this has been confirmed.

Please submit signed copies of all partner commitment letters to the Department with the completed Application for Funding.

Section 3B – Budget

The Department uses the information provided in this section to assess the overall cost of the proposed project, as well as the general nature of the expenditures to be covered by all anticipated sources of funding.

The Budget Detail Template (located in Appendix B of the “Develop Your Application” tab) must be included as part of the application.

Question 58 – Cost Categories

Please summarize your project budget according to the Budget Detail Template attached in Appendix B.

Please note that a Budget Cashflow – Forecast Statement, located in Appendix C, will be required each fiscal year along with a new activity plan for every year of operation of your project.

All costs must be directly related to implementing the SPF project. A list of eligible and ineligible costs is included in the “Eligibility” tab of this Applicant Guide.

Capital assets are any single or composite item costing $5,000 or more.

Total administration costs to be covered by ESDC must not exceed 15% of the total ESDC funding requested.

The project budget should demonstrate good value for money and economics of scale to the extent possible. Economical approaches should be evident in the budget.

Question 59 to 61 – ESDC / Other – Cash / Other - In-kind

Please provide the total planned expenditures by fiscal year.

For Question 59, the total ESDC budget must match the amount of ESDC funding requested in Question 55.The combined totals of Questions 60 and 61 must match the combined totals of Questions 55 and 56, minus the amount of funding requested from ESDC.

Section 3C – Budget Details

Question 62 – Associated Businesses or Individuals.

Please check all statements that apply to your planned expenditures of the Department’s funding.

In carrying out projects, contribution recipients may have to purchase various goods or services needed to perform the project from contractors. Some recipients may also contract out with third parties (i.e. outside providers) to perform project activities and aid the contribution recipient to achieve the objectives of the project.

”Associated businesses or individuals” means:

  • an officer, director or employee of your organization;
  • a member of the immediate family of an officer, director or employee of your organization;
  • a business in which an officer, director or employee of your organization, or a member of their immediate family, has a financial interest; or
  • a business that is related to, or associated or affiliated with, your organization.

Contracts with third parties must follow the contracting procedures set out in the Contribution Agreement and may require written approval of Canada.

Question 63 - Capital Assets: Will capital assets be among your planned expenditures with ESDC funding?

Explain how your project will benefit from the purchase of capital assets.

As per the SPF Terms and Conditions, only single or composite items with a purchase or lease value of $5,000 or more (before tax) should be listed as capital assets.

A capital asset is any single or composite asset with a purchase value of more than $5,000 (before tax) that is not physically incorporated into another product and that remains functional at the end of the project.

A composite asset is a collection of unique assets that form one identifiable functional unit, where all components are required for the asset to be functional. The collection of assets is treated as a single capital asset if the total cost of all individual items together is greater than $5,000 (before tax).

For example, a personal computer composed of a hard-drive, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and cabling is a composite capital asset. Four $300 chairs are not capital assets because each chair is functional on its own and, as single units; they fall below the established threshold.

Please list all planned capital asset purchases or leases and provide a rationale for their necessity to successful project implementation. A disposal plan for the capital assets should also be included.

Question 64 – Further Budget Details

Please provide any additional information or budget rationale that will assist ESDC to:

  • assess the budget information provided in Questions 58 to 61;
  • confirm the eligibility of proposed expenditures;
  • determine whether planned expenditures are reasonable for the proposed activities;
  • determine value for money and assess fair market value; and
  • substantiate the value of in-kind contributions from other sources.

Part 4 – Declaration

If you are not submitting through GCOS, please ensure that your application is signed by an official, authorized representative of your organization. People with signing authority are normally one or more of the executive members of the board of directors (President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer) and employees of the organization (Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director, chiefs of finance or human resources).

The Application for Funding must be signed in accordance with the organization’s statutes, by-laws or other constituting documents. For example, the President and the Chief Financial Officer may be required to sign all outgoing documents.

Appendix A

Please use this section to complete relevant sections of the application; and specify the question or section meant to be continued.

Appendix A: Application for funding (PDF 149 KB)

Appendix B

Appendix B: Budget Detail Template (PDF 43 KB)

Appendix C (Forecast of Project Expenditures)

Appendix C: Detailed Budget Forecast of Project Expenditures (PDF 1,021 KB)

Appendix D (Sample Partner Commitment Letter)

Appendix D: Sample Partner Commitment Letter (PDF 82 KB)

Next Step

Apply

Before sending your completed Application for Funding, you should ensure that you have included all of the following documents:

  • The completed Application for Funding.
  • Partner commitment letters (must be signed and on partner's letterhead).
  • The completed Budget Detail Template.
  • Forecast of Project Expenditures by Fiscal Year.
  • Organization by-laws or letters of incorporation.
  • A copy of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) determination of whether or not an Environmental Assessment is required.

Submit Your Application

Your application must be submitted no later than July 5, 2016 before 11:59 p.m. EST.

You are encouraged to submit it using the Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS).

Apply Online

Registering to GCOS can take up to two (2) weeks; therefore, we invite you to register as soon as possible using this link, if you are not already registered: Register for GCOS

Applications can also be submitted by email to the NC-SPF-FCP-GD@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca or by mail using the address below.

Applications received after July 5, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST will be disqualified.

Skills and Partnership Fund – 2016 Call for Proposals
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage
Phase IV. 4th Floor – Mailstop 421
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J9

Applications cannot be submitted through other means, including cloud storage service providers such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Applications sent using such means will be disqualified.

For enquiries about this CFP process, please use the Contact form on our website.

Notice to Applicants

The information collected in your application will be used, and may be disclosed, for the purposes of assessing the merits of your application. As part of the assessment process, the information may be shared with external consultants, review committee members, officials in other departments, federal, provincial and/or territorial governments or Members of Parliament.

It may also be used and/or disclosed for policy analysis, research, and/or evaluation purposes. In order to conduct these activities, various sources of information under the custody and control of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) may be linked. However, these additional uses and/or disclosures of information will not impact your project.

In the event that the application contains personal information, the personal information will be administered in accordance with the Privacy Act. The application is also subject to the Access to Information Act (ATIA). The ATIA provides every person with a right of access to information under the control of the Department, subject to a limited set of exemptions. Instructions for obtaining access to this information are outlined in the government publication entitled Info Source. Info Source may also be accessed on-line at any Service Canada Centre.

Next Step

Follow-up

If you are submitting your application through GCOS, you will receive an acknowledgement immediately.

If you are submitting your application by email, you will receive an acknowledgment within 24 hours.

All applicants will be notified of the status of their application within 90 days of the CFP closing date.

Not all proposals submitted under this CFP will be approved. Funding is limited and is subject to budget considerations of the Skills and Partnership Fund and Employment and Social Development Canada, and allocation of funds by Parliament.

Decisions are final and there is no appeal process.