Scottish technology helping to build a better future for Toronto job seekers

Laura Reid, CEO, Simul8

Community services provider WoodGreen to work with Simul8 on innovative new process improvement strategy

WOODGREEN, one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, Canada, has partnered with Simul8, the Glasgow-headquartered process simulation software expert, to increase the capacity and quality of its Employment Services program and prepare for implementation of Ontario’s Employment Services Transformation in 2024. 

This government-driven initiative aims to improve employment outcomes for job seekers by better integrating social assistance employment programs with provincial employment programs, such as those provided by WoodGreen, to improve the local labour market. Unemployment in Ontario has stood consistently at between 5-6% for the last few years, peaking at 13% during the height of the COVID pandemic. Efforts are now increasing to get more people successfully placed in work, and stay there for at least 12 months, with WoodGreen among the organisations tasked with helping to improve the support services available in Toronto by March 2024.

The not-for-profit identified Simul8 as a technology partner. The successful Scottish software company often provides its specialist simulation software on a pro bono basis to charitable and social good organisations around the world as part of its ‘Tech for Good’ program. 

WoodGreen operates five Employment Centres around the city offering skills training and job coaching to youth, people with disabilities, newcomers, mature workers, and many others. Since 2010, the local government has set targets for successful job placement at 70%. However, with today’s challenging job market, increasingly complex needs among jobseekers and program budgets that have remained flat for more than a decade, WoodGreen has adopted a technology-first approach to make the difference. 

Sonya Goldman, Director of Employment and Skills Development at WoodGreen, explained: “As with most social services organisations helping high-need persons, we must deliver as much as we can with limited resources. WoodGreen has always sought out innovative solutions through technology to plug this gap. Having used Simul8 when I was training in process management, I knew that it would be the perfect tool to support us, so I reached out and was delighted when the team said they would be happy to help. 

“Simul8 has gifted us the same advanced simulation software they provide to some of the largest industrial enterprises around the world. We can now create simulations that digitally model our services so that we can experiment with reconfiguring and optimising them. It de-risks our process improvement strategies and is being used to identify the most efficient changes that we can make to increase our capacity. It also gives us licence to experiment and find ways of doing things differently, which I believe is a game changer in helping us to shift the dial in getting more people into work.”

The project will be complete by the 31st March 2024 in line with preparing for the coming Employment Services Transformation in Ontario. By running simulations of its Employment Centres, including contacts made in person, by phone and via its website, WoodGreen is transforming its processes to cater for more one-to-one sessions where they can help clients improve their employability and find a job.

Laura Reid, CEO at Simul8, said: “This is a great example of using our technology to contribute to a better society, which is something we feel really passionately about here at Simul8. WoodGreen provides essential social support services that connect with all groups, and we’re excited to work with them and see this project develop.”  

Sonya Goldman finished: “This is about more than process efficiency. We’re driven to improve the experience of every single person we help, setting ourselves up to give them the best possible support in their job hunt. We’re also working to build workplace satisfaction for our wonderful staff team, as they are the people who really make things happen.”

The latest stories