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  • 19 November 2021 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    This past week has been a tough one for our province as we mourn for those most impacted by the results of the "atmospheric river."  We mourn for those who have lost lives, homes, and livelihoods.

    [Image: Screenshot of Emergency Map BC taken at 9:47 am on November 19, 2021]  

    At this time, we can look to the helpers. The news is littered with stories from survivors of the deluge who have had their faith in humanity restored when people undertook heroic acts to save lives or make strangers feel comfortable as they waited for the passages home to open. Our members in these communities have been working hard to contribute. For example, Peter Bailey of Free Rein & Associates dropped everything to help set up a shelter at a local church for the many people stranded in Hope and Archway Community Services in Abbotsford put together food hampers for those who were impacted by the flood, posting a call out on their social media channels.

    If you are far removed from the effects of the floods, please take a moment to read some of the following samplings of articles to learn more about what happened and is continuing to happen in these communities.

    Stories from the Floods
    Finally, if you are looking for ways to help, this news story has a list of places to send donations:
    A Grand Forks member at last week's member meeting told us about their serious flooding that happened four and a half years ago of which their community is still recovering. This most recent disaster, as well as the disasters from last summer, will take a lot of time, money, and political will from which to recover. Whether in the thick of it or on the outskirts, I encourage you to get involved in the recovery efforts.

    Janet Morris-Reade

    CEO, ASPECT


  • 22 October 2021 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    What's that expression, "living in interesting times"? The employment sector is seeing its fair share of dynamics and yesterday's announcement by Canadian Minister of Employment, Hon. Carla Qualtrough certainly had my head spinning. Although the house is not sitting and this is policy change not yet official, Minister Qualtrough warned that if a worker leaves their job because they refuse to get vaccinated, they will likely not qualify for employment insurance.


    Our members are telling us that they are receiving calls and visits from some of the 5,500 unvaccinated health care workers who feel they must leave their jobs, but tying EI benefits to COVID vaccinations is not something I even considered possible. The courts are full of legal challenges right now and employment case law is being tested. It will be interesting to see if this proposed policy announcement will encourage the unvaccinated to get vaccinated or if there will be a rush to the courts. Regardless, for our sector it could be a landmine moving forward with these clients.

    Minister Qualtrough's musings come on the heels of the expected announcements from the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance about the end of the Canada Response Benefit and "targeted" bridging supports. Again, these are just plans right now and we can likely expect a healthy debate when the House sits November 22 for their winter session. We can expect a Cabinet shuffle as well. 

    With all of these changes, I am delighted to announce that Pedro Barata, Executive Director at the Future Skills Centre will be our Keynote Speaker at the Conference on Friday, November 5 at 9:00am. We had an exciting meeting yesterday where we discussed possible topics for his presentation and I can promise you that it's going to be epic. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT BC
  • 08 October 2021 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    KEYNOTE: THE CULTURE QUESTION

    Presenter: Wendy Loewen, ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and co-author of The Culture Question

    Over the past 19 months, maintaining and building workplace culture has been a challenge. Add to that the 4th wave of the pandemic, the conflicts related to vaccine requirements, the increase in angry clients, and the inability to meet in large groups to share meals, has shifted the internal culture of our organizations. Wendy Loewen will tell us why culture is so important to the work we do and how we can build it back better.
     

    PANEL: EMPLOYMENT SERVICES IN DISTINCT RURAL COMMUNITIES

    Facilitated by Peter Bailey, Free Rein & Associates. Panelists: Lori Forgeron, Workforce Development Consulting Services of Northern BC, Shauna Wouters, Hecate Strait Employment Development Society, and Jackie Theisen, Dawson Creek Catholic Social Services Society.

    Delivering employability services to rural and remote communities comes with its own set of challenges making for some great stories and some innovative work-arounds. Hear from the mavericks of the sector in this panel discussion about how they overcome the obstacles, share their successes, and tell you what they really wish others knew.

    PANEL: Career Development for Diverse Clients

    Facilitated by Roberta Borgen. Panelist TBC (co-authors of the book Beyond the Basics)

    Diversity is a complex, multi-faceted construct which includes countless inter-related characteristics and influences. Career Development Professionals (CDPs) who go “beyond the basics” are able to adopt a more nuanced approach rooted in a client’s unique expression of cultural identity(ies). This panel will support practitioners in examining some of the unique challenges encountered by diverse clients as they endeavour to move their careers forward while facing complex barriers to employment and career success. Hear from editor of Career Development for Diverse Clients: Beyond the Basics, Roberta Borgen, and a panel comprising a variety of chapter contributors to the book, as they discuss how customized, relevant, and culturally informed interventions can strengthen the CDP-client working relationship and outcomes. Leave better equipped to adopt a more culturally competent approach to career and employment services.

  • 01 October 2021 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I started this week by going to the BC Legislature to present the ASPECT submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Affairs, a.k.a. the 2022 Pre-Budget Consultations. Every year, I try to take a macro approach to the barriers to employment. These barriers are outside employment services contracts but play a significant role in a client's employability and work sustainment.


    Presentations are 5 minutes and then the committee members have 5 minutes to ask questions. It was a question from one MLA on the committee who asked about our "employment agencies" and our "success rate" that reminded me that ASPECT has a lot of work to do to educate political servants about what we do.

    For this reason, I am re-engaging with our Humans of Employment Instagram account that was quite successful a few years ago. This time I will be resharing what is on our members' Instagram accounts so that we can get the message out to what employment programs look like in this province. 

    For the 2022 Pre-Budge Consultations presentation, ASPECT's three recommendations are:


    1: Further Investment in Province-Wide Tech Connectivity

     
    We applaud the government’s investment in the Connecting British Columbia program but further investment beyond the phase three $50 million is needed.
     
    Employment service providers throughout the province have responded quickly to the pandemic by redesigning their in-person workshops and training sessions to go online.  They have created virtual resource rooms, job fairs, and one-on-one supports for those looking for work.

    2: Further Investment in Affordable Housing
     
    As we have seen from issues raised during the recent federal election, affordable housing continues to be a challenge across the country and BC continues to be the highest-priced jurisdiction. 
     
    We ask that the provincial government continues to invest in tax rebates and economic supports, especially to help those who must pay 40% or more of their income on housing.

    3: Continued Investment in Daycare 
     
    We applaud the provincial government’s efforts in this area and the recent agreement with the federal government to work toward $10-a day daycare through the Canada–British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Nothing promises to reshape the world of work than making it possible for all to be included in it. 
     
    For BC is to meet its current and future labour market demands, we must remove daycare as a barrier to employment. We need to ensure that funding for this issue is continuous and that daycare becomes part of the social infrastructure for years to come.

    Click here to read the whole presentation.


    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT
  • 24 September 2021 10:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    ASPECT Conference delegates tell us that one of the biggest draws to the ASPECT Conference is their ability to network with others in the sector. However, since were are meeting virtually again this year, we had to figure out a way to duplicate that in-person experience. Introducing Speed Networking!

    During the last breakout session at the conference, delegates will be divided into two groups: those who work directly with clients and those who don't (organization leaders, researchers, government, etc.). Here's what to expect:

    • Conference delegates are encouraged to fill out an electronic "business card" on the event platform before the conference. 
    • There will be two Zoom meetings with multiple breakout rooms within each meeting. 
    • Each breakout room will have a maximum of 6 people in it.
    • Each breakout room session will last 10 minutes; there will be 5-6 rounds of breakouts.
    • In the end, we'll debrief and share highlights of what we discussed.
    • We will provide some discussion questions for each round to help break the ice and get people started.
    • After the Speed Networking, delegates can follow up with those they'd like to meet with by setting up a meeting on the conference platform or connecting through LinkedIn or other means.

    I have attended these types of virtual speed networking sessions and have learned much about the different aspects of the social care sector. As an introvert who needs to work a little harder at in-person networking events, I have found virtual speed networking much more manageable and, in some cases, more fruitful. Hopefully, by next year, we will once again be able to go back to in-person events, but in the meantime, ASPECT will look for ways to help you connect with your colleagues and potential project partners. Register now for the conference.


    Janet Morris-Reade 
    CEO
    ASPECT BC
  • 16 September 2021 11:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    We are excited to announce some of the presenters for this year's ASPECT Conference, happening virtually on November 4 & 5, 2021. This hasn't yet been posted to our website but will be in a few days. 

    Online Learning Tools for Career Practitioners - Our Experience
    Panel Discussion with Megan Hamlet of ETHOS Career Management Group facilitating

    Improving mental health outcomes, utilizing a measurement-based approach
    Presented by Beth Hurst and Londa Morris, Kootenay Employment Services

    Resilience, Post-Traumatic Growth and Toxic Positivity - Lessons for CDPs
    Presented by Seanna Quresette, Douglas College, and Dr. Catherine Hajnal, Life Fundamentals

    What exactly is Emotional Intelligence anyway?
    Presented by David Cory, The Emotional Intelligence Training Company Inc.

    Alpha Factor of Skills for Success
    Presented by Joanne Chug, Langara College

    Your Career Identity - Rebuilding and Strengthening It
    Presented by Steve Millar, Implicit Career Services, and Silviu Cojocaru, Millennial Hero Ltd.

    Work Search:  A Trauma-Informed Approach
    Presented by Patricia Rawson and Carrie Everett, Bridges for Women Society

    The Case for Case Conferencing in Employment Services
    Presented by Malorie Moore, Kootenay Career Development Society
     
    True Stories: Taking Charge of Our Own Evidence
    Presented by Sareena Hopkins, Canadian Career Development Foundation
     
    Motivational Interviewing: A Taster
    Presented by Lori Godin and Sam Burnett, The Centre for Collaboration, Motivation and Innovation (CCMI)
     
    How to Engage in Ethical Advocacy
    Presented by Andrew Bassingthwaighte, Brock University
     
    Assistive Technology in the Office Environment
    Presented by Gemma Pollock and Nate Toevs, Neil Squire Society
     
    Public Policy and Advocacy Engagement Post Pandemic
    Presented by Imbenzi George, Myert Corps Inc.
     
    CDPs' Transition to Virtual Services: What We Learned
    Presented by Dr. Roberta Borgen, Life Strategies Ltd., Deborah Bromley, ETHOS Career Management Group, and Janet Morris-Reade, ASPECT BC

    Early-bird pricing ends September 30th. More information is coming soon, but I think you'll agree that we've got a great line-up so far! Thank you to all of you who have stepped up to present at the conference. We can't wait to hear what you have to say.


    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT BC

  • 10 September 2021 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    We have clarification from BC's public health office (PHO) and confirmation from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction: workshops with fewer than 50 people do not require the service provider to check for proof of vaccine. 

    This is great news for those employment service providers trying to move forward with their programs. Here's the excerpt from the PHO:

    Proof of vaccination is required for organized indoor events with 50 or more people in attendance, such as conferences and workshops. For WorkBC Centres, proof of vaccination is not required for clients to attend workshops or other indoor organized gatherings where there are fewer than 50 participants. 
     
    The complete list of events requiring proof of vaccination can be found on the Province of BC’s COVID-19 vaccine and immunization page. To learn more about the launch of BC’s vaccination passport see the news release.

     

    The other issue that continues to emerge is the challenge within the employment service organizations regarding those who are vaccinated and those who aren't. Regardless of a staff member's vaccine status, it is prudent to continue to practice mask-wearing and sanitizing. We are all feeling the stress of this pandemic and making sure we maintain a healthy and safe workplace for everyone is paramount. I am optimistic that more guidelines will be announced soon but in the meantime, keep practicing safety protocols regardless of one's vaccine status. "Patience and compassion" is my personal mantra for the coming weeks. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT BC

  • 03 September 2021 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Interpreting public health orders feels like a tragic version of the child’s game of telephone where we hear the same information at the start, but as the message gets filtered through the media, our friends and colleagues, and our own internal filters, the details can get lost. 


    Source: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof


    At Wednesday’s members’ meeting, we discussed two issues: the probable vaccine requirement for workshops and mandatory vaccinations required by various employers. 

    Workshops & the Proof of Vaccine Requirement
    At the time of our discussion, we had not heard back yet from the funders but here is what others are doing for their in-person workshops:

    • Going ahead with planned workshops but not marketing them until we have policy confirmation from the funders.
    • Moving planned workshops to virtual and/or one-on-one meetings for smaller cohorts.
    • Doing nothing differently; waiting and seeing what the funder and the Public Health Office (PHO) say.

    A member identified a potential Catch-22 situation for computer literacy skills workshops. A computer-generated vaccine proof or passport is needed to attend a workshop to teach clients how to access their proof of vaccine or passport.  

    Mandatory Vaccination Requirements
    How do organizations plan for the future if they are required to have employees vaccinated? Will people lose their jobs? We can see the vestiges of this issue playing out on the six o’clock news and within our own organizations, we wonder how to address the situation. Here’s what some members said:

    • Remove the personal opinions and stay out of the debate. Instead, talk about the ramifications for some jobs if not vaccinated; similar to requiring a criminal records check.
    • Flip the conversation to promoting a collegiate and safe environment for all regardless of one’s vaccination status. 
    • Have team conversations about what makes clients and staff feel comfortable but keep the discussion about who has what vaccine status out of it. 

    Response Excerpt from WorkBC
    I know that many of our Aspectives readers do not deliver WorkBC contracts, but I thought I would share this excerpt of an email with you all from Val Beaman, Executive Director of Operations of the WorkBC contracts. It was sent yesterday. 

    As an update, we have met with the PHO and were advised that additional proof of vaccination clarification and guidelines are actively in development. We have shared the questions raised by service providers and have provided information about the common types of employment service activities to the PHO to help inform their guidance. 
     
    Further information will be available in the coming days to support service providers. 
     
    Thank you to Val for keeping us updated.

    As I write this, I worry that I might be misinterpreting what has been said and that I might be the end person of the telephone game. Again, like almost every day of this pandemic, we need to be patient for answers. In the meantime, enjoy the long weekend ahead. More information is coming next week!

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO, ASPECT BC

  • 26 August 2021 11:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Source: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof

     

    This week's public health notices were the main topic of our member discussion Wednesday and I've been receiving calls from members as well. The primary issue is the mention of the word "workshops" (see above image) and what this means for employment service providers and their upcoming workshops.

    September is a busy time for training in general, and with the Canada Response Benefit set to expire on October 23, 2021, those working in the sector are preparing for a rush for services. Many employment service providers have projects ready to start over the next few weeks and now don't know what to do. Asking staff for proof of vaccination, let alone program participants who may have some legitimate reasons for not getting vaccinated, is an ethical and legal Pandora's Box. 

    I reached out Thursday to Chris Brown, ADM at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Bindi Sawchuk, ADM, and Catherine Poole, Executive Director, Program Design and Delivery Branch for the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, asking for policy direction and clarification. They have put in a request to the Public Health Office, which is quite understandably bombarded with similar requests for clarification. They are doing their best to get this sorted out as soon as possible and I applaud them all for their quick response to my and other contractors' requests. 

    We need to hold on a little bit for the answer. Like so much of this pandemic, we are once again forging ahead into unknown and uncomfortable territory. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO of ASPECT BC
  • 13 August 2021 9:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After nearly three years in development garnering input from across Canada, the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) released its new career development competencies list. The project was funded with a grant from Employment and Social Development Canada. It involved many hours from volunteers informing the framework and multiple consultations with stakeholders far and wide. ASPECT was delighted to be a part of this project, providing consultation opportunities at our Summit and Annual Conference, as well as serving on two of the project committees.


    Along with the new list of competencies comes an updated Code of Ethics (coming in September) and a clearer definition of a Career Development Professional. 


    The following list is reductive of the immense amount of detail in The National Competency Profile for Career Development Professionals, but it will give you a high-level view of the multi-faceted aspects of the work you do.


    Professional Practice
    1. Professional Responsibility
    2. Ethics and Regulations
    3. Client-Practitioner Relationship
    4. Diversity and Inclusion
    5. Evidence-Based Practice
    6. Professional Development
    7. Health and Wellness
    8. Communication
    9. Digital Literacy

    CDP Characteristics
    1. Foundational Knowledge and Applied Theories
    2. Service Delivery Process
    3. Learning and Job Readiness
    4. Awareness of Diverse World Views
    5. Career Resources
    6. Client Work Search Strategies
    7. Referrals to Professional Services

    Reading more, I think you'll marvel at the breadth of the profession. The next steps are to obtain more funding to mobilize these competencies and create a national credentialing body. While waiting for funding, the volunteers who have worked on this project have resolved to continue working on a wide range of projects.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
    ASPECT BC
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