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  • 19 February 2021 12:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At this morning's briefing from Prime Minister Trudeau, I was expecting to hear about the vaccine rollout and the public safety legislation. What I didn't expect was extensions for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and Employment Insurance (EI).


    Here are the details:
    • CRB benefit extended from 26 weeks to 38 weeks
    • CRCB benefit also extended from 26 to 38 weeks
    • CRSB benefit is extended from 2 weeks to 4 weeks
    • EI benefit is extended from 26 weeks to 50 weeks

    As I write this, the Canada.ca website has not been updated with the new information, but you can link to the CBC news story here or watch the announcement below.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT BC, CEO



  • 12 February 2021 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I read the Brookfield Institute's latest report with the same excitement and wonder as I did in grade 2 when reading about flying cars. There is so much to unpack that directly impacts the work our members are doing. 

    The report identifies megatrends gleaned from various sources using a horizon-scanning methodology. Many of the trends are not new to the wider conversation, but seeing them all in one place is quite exciting. Each megatrend is broken down into meso trends that are further identified as weak, emerging, and mature. 

    I was interested (okay, excited) to read the sections entitled Anti-Racism in the WorkplaceGender Equality Rollback, and Workaholic Extinction. Other sections were more concerning such as in Public Services with a Price Tag where it is suggested that lower public budgets may generate more innovation. In an environment where we've heard funders use the "I" word along with program budget-cutting, many of you will likely understand the possible implications first hand.

    Regardless of your part of the employment service sector, I encourage you to take a look at this report. The graphics are gorgeous and the writing concise making it an easy read. Perhaps if you are feeling fatigued from the pandemic, you may want to skip the content on pages 47, 50, and 51. If you identify as generation Z, work with youth, or work with employers who employ you, look for page 54 entitled Gen Z Takeover.

    The title of the report - Yesterday's Gone - tells you what to expect and in the conclusion, states that trends have been accelerated because of the pandemic. The sky is not falling, but there are certainly some interesting ideas within the report to consider.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT BC, CEO

     

  • 29 January 2021 12:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The long-awaited report of the BC Expert Panel on Basic Income was released this week. The Panel suggests that a basic income would not be ideal, but provided recommendations for significant changes to the social safety net. If ratified, this will have a significant impact on the employment services sector. 


    In short, here is the summary of 65 recommendations (pp. 39-42):

    Reform Disability Assistance (DA) into a targeted basic income

    1. Replace disability-related designations
    2. Reform application process
    3. Revise application forms
    4. Eliminate DA asset test
    5. Relax DA income test
    6. Reform adjudication process
    7. Eliminate reassessment
    8. Convert DA to a targeted basic income
    9. Increase DA benefit to the poverty line
    10. Lower DA benefit reduction rate and maintain income exemption
    11. Create public and community employment
    12. Integrate support for addiction and mental health
    13. Review addiction support

    Reform Temporary Assistance (TA) to reduce the “welfare wall”

    • Eliminate work-search requirement
    • Engage federal government on COVID-19 recovery benefit rationalization
    • Initially maintain current TA income test
    • Increase TA income test threshold in medium term
    • Eliminate TA asset test
    • Extend TA streamlined reapplication
    • Increase TA benefit levels by making COVID-19 emergency $300 supplement permanent
    • Lower TA benefit reduction rate and maintain income exemption
    • Evaluate training support
    • Expand earnings supplement

    Provide extended health-care benefits to all low-income individuals

    • Convert extended health supplements to a basic service
    • Provide housing support to all low-income renters
    • Combine Income Assistance support and shelter allowances
    • Expand targeted supportive housing
    • Institute a B.C. Rent Assist refundable tax credit

    Provide intensive work support to targeted groups

    • Establish Assisted to Work basic service
    • Establish a joint rehabilitation and work support agency

    Enhance support for low-income families with children

    • Refocus the Child Opportunity Benefit

    Enhance financial and support services for young adults

    • Increase Ministry of Children and Family Development resources
    • Enhance transition planning and community support capacity
    • Extend Agreements with Young Adults education and training duration
    • Enhance Agreements with Young Adults life-skills support
    • Extend Assisted to Work eligibility to former youth in care
    • Create targeted basic income for former youth in care
    • Initiate basic income with community support engagement
    • Mandate a ministry to support former youth in care
    • Establish a B.C. Learning Bond
    • Contribute to B.C. Learning Bond for children in care
    • Create a B.C. Career Trek program

    Enhance financial and support services for people fleeing violence

    • Enhance housing for people fleeing violence
    • Create a three-tiered domestic violence program

    Improve precarious employment through labour regulation reform

    • Develop gig work employment standards
    • Review Employment Standards Act exclusions
    • Enhance proactive Employment Standards Act enforcement
    • Improve employment standards for fissured work
    • Review Labour Relations Code unionization provisions
    • Proactively facilitate industry advisory councils
    • Extend Labour Relations Code successor rights
    • Rationalize employee definitions across programs

    Improve the way benefit delivery platforms function

    • Combine refundable tax credits into Dogwood Benefit
    • Rationalize income definition for income-testing purposes
    • Engage federal government to reduce tax-filing barriers
    • Engage federal government to increase tax and benefit delivery responsiveness
    • Engage federal government to streamline administrative tax data–sharing
    Develop an identification and verification platform for non–tax filers to increase benefits access
    • Automate informing applicants of eligibility for other programs
    • Enhance cross-program system navigation
    • Establish system governance
    • Index Income Assistance rates to changes in the poverty line
    • Increase Income Assistance staff resources
    • Rigorously evaluate major reforms
    • Create linked administrative data for policy development

    Make ongoing engagement a permanent part of all policies

    • Set up a human rights-based approach to engagement with those affected
    Clearly, there is a lot to unpack here but I think from a social care perspective, we can see that the report outlines forward-thinking for some of the wicked problems that we need to solve as a society. Thank you to basic income panel members for their hard work and to the provincial government for investing in this project.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT CEO
  • 22 January 2021 11:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Being in the second wave of the pandemic, it is definitely a good time to develop yourself professionally. ASPECT is here to provide some of the training needed for the sector. 

    PART 3: THE RECRUITER’S EDGE - GETTING EMPLOYERS TO COME TO YOU FIRST

    February 4 @10am

    Presented in partnership with Ethos Career Management Group, this session is a continuation of parts 1 & 2, but it is not necessary for you to have joined us before to benefit. 

     

    MINDFULNESS IN THE WORKPLACE -- FINDING CALM AMIDST THE STORM

    February 11 @ 9am - noon
    February 9 - SOLD OUT


    At this time of uncertainty and stress, learning skills to navigate the challenges of our work and personal lives is paramount to maintaining our own health, wellness, and sense of joy. As a response to what we heard at our weekly member meetings, this is a much-needed session. 

     

    VBL: WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?

    February 15 - 21 Self-paced with a live session on Wednesday

    Are you a supervisor, a manager, or a leader? Understanding these distinct roles is the first step to know what will and will not work for yourself and your organization. This is the first course in the Values Based Leadership (VBL) series. All courses can be taken individually or as a part of the VBL certificate program.

     

    VBL: SELF AWARENESS, CONFIDENCE, & VALUES

    February 22 - 28 Self-paced with a live session on Wednesday

    Leadership begins with knowing who you are and what you stand for. Guided by self-awareness and clarity of core values, leaders confidently share/model these values, leading those on the same quest, with the same vision. 


    We have several webinars in development that will be launched in the coming months. Providing ASPECT members and those delivering employment services in the sector with low-cost professional development opportunities is one of our key mandates.

    CANNEXUS starts next week on Monday and Wednesday and the same days the following week. I know I can look forward to seeing many ASPECT members attending this year. I understand from CERIC that there will be over 3,000 people from across Canada, the US, and internationally attending! 

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT CEO
  • 15 January 2021 11:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This morning I had the opportunity to attend the Canadian Council for Career Development (3CD) annual general meeting where they announced their new mandate. It was decided that 3CD would no longer rely on support from the Canadian Career Development Foundation (the organization currently updating the standards and guidelines for career development professionals) and strike out on their own. 

    I was impressed with the 3CD board's ability to look at the landscape and create a mandate that fills a need, but also provides room for evolution. As someone who has been involved with nonprofit organizations at the board level for over 20-years, I am impressed with their work.


    Mandate:

    The Mandate of the Canadian Council for Career Development is to strengthen the professional identity of all career development practitioners and to promote career development for all Canadians.

    Priorities:

    • Communicate relevant career development information to the career development field
    • Build partnerships to activate career development in Canada
    • Host a community of practice for career development practitioners


    ASPECT, on behalf of our members, is a member of 3CD which is an umbrella group of organizations across Canada. We support the work that 3CD is doing and will keep you up-to-date on any developments.


    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT CEO

  • 08 January 2021 1:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 2020, ASPECT produced 47 Aspectives newsletters. We do this to keep you up to date on what is happening in the sector by featuring newly released reports, news stories, professional development opportunities, and of course, our ever-popular job postings. The other day I wondered, in the turmoil of 2020, what our top stories were for the year. Through the analytics provided by our email mailer, I was able to look back at which newsletter links were clicked the most and here's what I found:

    #s 1 & 2


    From March 13 was the British Columbia Labour Market Outlook: 2019 Edition. Those from government who are responsible for putting together this report will be happy to know that this story was clicked 5,462 times. Coming in second, from February 11 and March 13, was the government'sGood Jobs for Today and Tomorrow Guide. Kudos to the Ministry staff for putting together a compelling read. 

    #3


    From our December 18 newsletter, the International Labour Organization report Global guidelines on the prevention of forced labour through lifelong learning and skills development approaches came in 3rd. This surprised me as it was released on the Friday before Christmas at a time when I would expect people to want a lighter read.

    #s 4 & 7


    Vantage Point and their No Immunity Report: BC Nonprofits and the Impact of COVID-19 from the May 15 newsletter came in fourth. Along with the BC Pandemic Operational Plan Template, published on the same date but placing 7th for the year, it's no wonder that anything pandemic-related would spark such interest.

    #s 5, 6, 8, 9, 10


    The pandemic has given ASPECT the opportunity to better-connect with our members through virtual meetings and professional development opportunities. We see this in the clicks from the following:


    I am delighted at the engagement and happy to see what kind of content sparks your interest. We will endeavour in 2021 to give you the information you need, when you need it! 


    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT BC
  • 18 December 2020 12:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Thank you to all of our member organizations and their staff who have supported ASPECT BC throughout the past year. It is with your encouragement and support that we were able to offer 48 virtual member discussions, 29 webinars designed for your needs, and 28 sessions through the ASPECT Virtual Conference this year. At a time when it's hard to remember what day it is, it is important to look back at how much we have all come together this year and how quickly the employment services sector in BC has pivoted to ensure that those seeking meaningful employment have the support and training needed.


    You all deserve the proverbial "pat on the back" for everything you do. I'm inspired by how you are supporting your staff and finding innovative ways to ensure that people don't fall through the cracks. You are all amazing and I am humbled to do my part to support you!

    Starting today, the ASPECT BC office will be closed for the next two weeks. Thank you to Jennifer Nichol, our Operations Manager, who has been working from home while homeschooling her children, to the ASPECT board of Directors, who have been supporting me with their advice and leadership, and to all of you who continue to be a part of our ASPECT community.  

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT BC
     
  • 04 December 2020 11:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As I write this, we have just finished up the final Pecha Kucha presentations for the first cohort of the Values Based Leadership certificate program. Each student presented 20 slides of 20 seconds per slide. In these presentations, our task was to use what we learned to identify a challenge at work, create a plan for tackling it, and a strategy to evaluate our plan. After their presentation, we discussed the challenge as a group and shared ideas and experiences. The whole experience was brilliant! 


    A few of us had never created a PowerPoint before, some had never presented virtually, and all of us learned new ways to apply our learning now to real-life situations. I was impressed by the course, the cohort, and Dr. Roberta Borgen (Neault) and Cassie Taylor of Life Strategies Ltd. As the last presentation finished, it seemed like none of us wanted the learning to end and we resolved to create an alumni group to keep the learning going.


    A screenshot from Yvonne Russell's presentation about effective communication with team members.


    Congratulations to the graduates of the 2020 Values Based Leadership program:


    Angela Balkwill - Horton Ventures Inc., Chetwynd
    Shelley Burge - Inclusion Powell River Society, Powell River
    Andrea Cherchas - Terrace and District Community Services Society, Terrace
    Deanna Cormano - Terrace and District Community Services Society, Terrace
    Chantel Dempsey - Horton Ventures Inc., Dawson Creek
    Jason Evans - Terrace and District Community Services Society, Terrace
    Jennifer Feissli - Horton Ventures Inc., 100 Mile House
    Angie Fisher - Community Futures North Okanagan, Vernon
    Lori Forgeron - Workforce Development Consulting of Northern BC Ltd., Prince George
    Heather Gordon - NIEFS, Campbell River
    Ann-Marie Gray - Inclusion Powell River Society, Powell River
    Kazia Mullin - Community Futures North Okanagan, Vernon
    Carmen Phillips - Community Futures North Okanagan, Vernon
    Yvonne Russell - Inclusion Powell River Society, Powell River
    Julie San Juan - Terrace and District Community Services Society, Terrace
    Lindsey Shewchuk- WorkBC / Horton Ventures, Williams Lake
    Dave Stam - Terrace and District Community Services Society, Terrace
    Steph Torrance - Horton Ventures Inc, Bella Coola


    Certificates will be sent out to graduates once final assignments are marked and program requirements are met. 

    Again, thank you to Dr. Borgen and Cassie Tayor at Life Strategies for partnering with ASPECT to offer this high-quality leadership training program, something that is much needed in our sector. 

    The next cohort will begin on January 11th. If you have questions, please contact me.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT
  • 27 November 2020 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It is interesting to me how the pandemic has increased access. Two recent examples of this are how people who would not normally attend the ASPECT Conference were able to this year and how, this past summer, I was able to chat with the Premier about how employment service providers are helping the economy throughout the pandemic. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to "attend" the swearing-in of the new provincial cabinet and it was a first for me as well as a fascinating experience. I was interested to see the faces of the new cabinet ministers and watch the process unfold.




    In our advocacy work, there are three provincial ministries with whom I spend the bulk of my time working: Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Advanced Education and Skills Training, and Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation (formerly called Ministry of Jobs, Trade & Technology). All three have new ministers and what is of particular note, there is a new Parliamentary Secretary position for Skills Training. Also, there are Parliamentary Secretaries for Technology and Innovation, for Accessibility, and for Community Development and Non-Profits. To be clear, these Parliamentary Secretary positions could have existed before, but they were not on my advocacy radar so I may be mistaken in my assertion that they are new.

    With a new group of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries to whom to introduce ASPECT members, it feels very much like the excitement I have on the first day of school. So many opportunities before us to tell the story of the work our members are doing in communities throughout the province. It's an exciting time!

    The following is the information from the BC Government website with the links to mandate letters. On behalf of ASPECT members, I will be introducing ourselves in the coming weeks.
     

    Honourable Anne Kang: Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training

     
    Honourable Nicholas Simons: Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction  
    Honourable Ravi Kahlon: Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
    Andrew Mercier, MLA: Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training  
    Brenda Bailey, MLA: Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation  
    Dan Coulter, MLA: Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility
    Niki Sharma, MLA: Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT BC CEO
  • 20 November 2020 2:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I heard a new-to-me term this week that explains so much: compassion fatigue. It doesn't really need much explanation because those who have it will be able to identify it right away. Now with the latest public health directive, it's important that we take care of ourselves by ensuring we stay connected to others.



    Yesterday, I launched a new LinkedIn Group as a result of one of our facilitated discussions we had during the ASPECT Virtual Conference. The group wanted to continue the conversation.  It is for career development practitioners, counsellors, and facilitators and is intended to be a virtual place to share good ideas, group-hack tricky problems, and create a community away from clients to share. Look for ASPECTS of Employment group in LinkedIn to join.  As I write this, the group already has 58 members! I'm looking forward to seeing the information shared and the discussions ahead.

    Perhaps with groups like these, we can all inspire each other with new ideas and find an empathetic place at a time when many of us are experiencing fatigue. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT BC CEO
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