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  • September 03, 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. 


    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

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



    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
  • August 13, 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
  • July 30, 2021 10:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who responded to our online survey and participated in our focus groups this week for our research project Competency of Career Development Practitioners for Virtual Services. We are heading into our last week of focus groups, and we need your help. 

    Some of the upcoming focus groups need more participants. We are looking for participants who have served the following groups virtually during the pandemic and have not already participated in more than one focus group. 

    To make it easier for people to participate, we have set up a registration system and are actively recruiting for the following:

    03-Aug         10:00         All Job Seekers Group #2 (for generalist practitioners)
    03-Aug         13:00         Indigenous Populations
    04-Aug         10:00         Women & Those Fleeing Violence
    04-Aug         13:00         Persons with Disabilities
    05-Aug         10:00         Racialized Populations
    05-Aug         13:00         Those Without Essential Skills or Post-Secondary Education
    06-Aug         10:00         Older Workers
    06-Aug         13:00         Mental Health &/or Addictions      
    09-Aug         10:00         Did Not Use Virtual Services

    Each session will take 60-90 minutes, and we ask that you not participate in more than two sessions so that we hear about a wide range of experiences. This research project is an opportunity for our employment services community to provide valuable contributions to the sector, both in BC and Canada.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
  • July 21, 2021 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who responded to our online survey for our project, Competency of Career Development Practitioners for Virtual Services. We have now moved on to the next stage of research: focus group recruitment.

    Each focus group session will take 60-90 minutes, meeting through zoom, and facilitated by our research team. Each session will have a maximum of 8 participants answering questions that have been approved through our ethics review. To see the questions that may be asked during the group sessions, please click here.

    We are looking for people who deliver services to the following populations underrepresented in the workforce:
    • Immigrants & refugees
    • Indigenous peoples
    • LGBTQ2IA+
    • Newcomers
    • Older workers 
    • Persons with disabilities 
    • People with essential skills gaps  
    • People without post-secondary education 
    • Racialized individuals 
    • Those fleeing domestic violence 
    • Those with mental health and/or addiction challenges
    • Veterans  
    • Women  
    • Youth
    We are also looking for those who deliver services in the following environments:
    • Rural, remote and Indigenous communities
    • Those who did not transition to virtual services during the pandemic
    • Deliver services virtually to all populations

    Participants will be asked to sign a participant and confidentiality form so that everything said during these sessions will be anonymous and confidential.  Participants may not participate in more than two focus groups so that we are able to collect a diversity of experiences.

    Click on the links below to sign up. We will have a waiting list and if there is a demand, we will create as many focus groups as people willing to participate between July 27 - August 11. 


    Date             Time         Focus Group Topic (Please click the link to register)

    27-Jul         13:00        Youth
    28-Jul         13:00        All Job Seekers
    29-Jul         13:00        Youth Group #2
    30-Jul         10:00        Rural, Remote & Indigenous Communities
    30-Jul         13:00        Immigrant/Newcomer/Refugee
    03-Aug       10:00        All Job Seekers Group #2
    03-Aug       13:00        Indigenous Populations
    04-Aug       10:00        Women & Those Fleeing Violence
    04-Aug       13:00        Persons with Disabilities
    05-Aug       10:00        Racialized Populations
    05-Aug       13:00        Those Without Essential Skills or Post-Secondary Education
    06-Aug       10:00        Older Workers
    06-Aug       13:00        Mental Health &/or Addictions   
    09-Aug       10:00        No Virtual Services

    This is a community-based research project and I encourage those within the employment services sector to get involved. 

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
  • July 09, 2021 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Yesterday, Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau made a much-anticipated joint announcement. Recent financial commitments in both the federal and provincial budgets have cumulated in a plan for an eventual $10 a day daycare program. 

    Access to affordable and safe daycare continues to be a barrier to employment and has been one of ASPECT BC's advocacy issues for the past 5 years. As someone who knows first-hand the desperation of trying to find daycare and making career decisions because of a lack of daycare, I'm absolutely delighted with the announcement. 

    We will likely see an economic boom as more people enter the workforce leading to increased gender and racial diversity and inclusion. Much has been written on this topic but a fairly recent report from the World Bank called Better Jobs and Brighter Futures: Investing in Childcare to Build Human Capital provides an interesting perspective. The report posits that "access to quality childcare has the potential to unlock pathways out of poverty, build human capital and increase equity" (p.8) and "the expansion of quality childcare presents an incredible opportunity to deliver better jobs and brighter futures by improving women’s employment and productivity, child outcomes, family welfare, business productivity, and overall economic development" (p.47).

    Kudos to the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and their $10 a Day BC campaign for all your hard work on this issue. ASPECT is proud to stand by you in your work drawing attention to this issue. I can't wait to see how the world of work will transform! 

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • July 02, 2021 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Robots are Taking Our Survey! 

    Last week we invited you to take our online survey for a research project funded by the Government of Canada's Future Skills Centre

    Since then, we've had an overwhelming response from cyber robots, and we would really like to hear from humans instead.

    If you have already taken the survey, your data is safe, and your responses will be counted. 

    If you have not taken the survey, please do so ASAP and encourage your staff and coworkers to take the survey, too.

    The data we compile will be crucial in our advocacy work. We are hoping to reach our goal of 500 human responses to ensure that we have enough data for a meaningful investigation. 

    To take the survey go to  

    For more information about our research project and this survey, please go to

    Those responding prior to the survey closing date July 13, 2021, will be entered to win one of four $25 gift cards selected from

    Thank you in advance for your help completing this survey.

    Take the Survey Now!

    More information can be found on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me

    Janet Morris-Reade

  • June 25, 2021 10:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It has been an exciting week. On Monday, an independent ethics review board approved our research plan, and the online survey for the Government of Canada-funded Future Skills Centre project went live. 

    Competency of Career Development Practitioners for Virtual Services is a 10-15 minute survey that asks questions about how career development practitioners have done transitioning to online services. Then through our follow-up focus groups, we will probe further into how the clients have handled the transition and how those in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities are managing.

    Thank you to the 80+ survey respondents so far for taking the time to complete the survey. Our goal is to have 500 survey responses from career development practitioners in all areas of practice.

    Our research goal is to collect much-needed data to inform sector development and program funding. 

    If you haven't already responded, please take a few moments to do that now. Again, thanks to those who have already responded and our Virtual Learning Consortium of ASPECT members who helped us create the survey. 

    More information can be found on our website. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • June 18, 2021 12:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Transitioning back to the office is a hot topic for many ASPECT BC members. In fact, it was one of the main topics of discussion at this week's members' meeting. Some organizations have been working in the office with the staff at full capacity for months, some have had a hybrid approach with some at home and some in the office, and others have not worked in their offices since this pandemic began. There were two issues at the heart of the discussion: the safety of those working in an environment with distressed clients or community members entering the office, and navigating the office safety when not everyone can be vaccinated.

    While keeping staff safe from the virus is at the front of my mind, I was interested to hear of member concerns about physical safety. One organization has placed security guards inside their resource room, several others have panic buttons hardwired or software at the ready, and another member shared the safety code term they use when a staff member needs help (red file). Increased and/or refresher de-escalating conflict training is happening, too. From the feedback, organizations with gradual return-to-work plans are a good way to help staff feel safe as many emerge from our pandemic bubbles.

    Whether or not you and your coworkers are vaccinated and whether your employer can demand vaccinations, is a little more fluid. It appears to me that the legal landscape is evolving and that depending on the type of work being done, there are some areas for clarification. Below is a brief list of resources for you to peruse. 

    Some resources
    I expect the anxiety about returning to the office, opening the doors to the public,  and working in closer quarters will likely dissipate over the coming weeks as we all get used to the new reality.  As we navigate this together, it's important to check our inner pandemic judge (we all have one), wear a mask to prevent hurting someone else, and dig deep to find the patience needed for the summer ahead. We will keep you updated.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • June 11, 2021 11:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Canada is not the utopia that we like to think it is. 

    ~ quote from a speaker at a vigil held in London, Ontario

    With the murder of a Muslim family in London, this past week, the discovery of 215 Indigenous children's bodies in Kamloops, the ongoing inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, the rise in anti-Asian incidents, and the ongoing Black Lives Matters movement, the quote above is a stark wake-up call for some of us. Others of us have been living in a dystopian reality for generations. 

    The City of Victoria cancelled their Canada Day celebrations in part due to COVID restrictions but also because Indigenous communities who normally participate in the celebrations did not want to this year. The City of Victoria made international news almost 3 years ago when they took down their John A. Macdonald statue at the entrance of the building. Last week, Ryerson activists defaced and toppled the Egerton Ryerson statue and are calling for a name change for the school.  Colonialism, and its impact on our society, are under the microscope.

    At our virtual members' meeting last Wednesday, we shared resources to help us grieve and take action.

    National Indigenous Day is coming June 21 and one member organization is taking the day to mourn and reflect together. Another member organization participated this week in a walking vigil within their community.  

    Here are some of the resources shared to learn more about cultural sensitivity:
    In the employment service sector, we are in contact with those living in more of a dystopian Canada and take action daily through making a significant difference in the lives of our clients and their families. How can we collectively do more?  Deepening our understanding and sharing our thoughts with others is a good first step.

    Janet Morris-Reade

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