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  • March 26, 2021 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week I wanted to focus on an essential piece of research called the Social Service Labour Market Research Project. The project was funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, and lead by the Federation of Community Social Services of BC, the Community Social Services Employers Association of BC, and the Social Planning and Research Council of BC. 

    ASPECT served on the advisory committee, and many of our members participated in the research conducted in 2019. The results timelessly fill a void in academic investigation.

    Research Questions:
    • What is the current state of employment in BC’s community social services sector?

    • What labour market data is needed to fill in the gaps of what we know about the community social services sector in BC?

    • What are the recruitment and retention issues within the community social services sector in BC? (from p. 5)

      The research revealed the following:
    • Social services organizations are experiencing an increasing degree of complexity in their work—in the needs of clients, in their funding, and in the recruitment and retention of their employees and volunteers.

    • There is ample room for improvement when it comes to education and training within the social services sector.

    • Organizations are struggling to meet multiple and growing service demands with the limited time and resources currently available to them.

    • There is a lot of potential in terms of how people understand the sector and are welcomed into the sector as employees or volunteers and there is a lot of interest from those already within the sector to improve how this is done. (from p.8 )

    The report confirms much of what we already knew about the impact of cyclical funding and the resulting challenges to attract and retain qualified staff. Check out a Data Aggregate version of the report, too. 

    Anyone negotiating contracts that include staff compensation and/or those who search for words to describe the labour market inequities within the sector will find the report to be a gold mine of information. There is a lot to unpack in this information-rich report that I hope you'll take a moment to read.

    Janet Morris-Reade

  • March 18, 2021 2:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My CEO Report is a bit of a mixed bag this week. 

    ASPECT Conference 21

    Register now before March 31st and you'll receive a $100 discount for the ASPECT Conference 21. This is for those of you who want to spend your professional development dollars on high-quality learning before the fiscal year-end. The call for presenters will come out in April and the program will be set in June so registering now is like buying a mystery grab-bag at the corner store.

    Based on our highly reviewed offering last year, here's what you can expect:
    1. Two-days of 22 virtual sessions from which to choose.
    2. Two keynote speakers, government representation, panel discussions, and collaborative workshops.
    3. Content for frontline workers, career developers, and organizational managers and leaders.
    4. An interactive conference platform with Play-to-Win prizes and promotions.
    5. 30-minute breaks between each session to help you rest from potential zoom fatigue.

    Register Now

    AEST Appendix K

    In the recent Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training call for qualifications, there was an "Appendix K" call and many of our members are waiting for the Request for Proposal. Although an official communication is coming soon from the ministry, I can tell you that the RFP will not come within the next two weeks. 

    The processes within the government to undertake proposal evaluations, award notifications, and contract negotiations take time, especially in light of the many opportunities coming out at once. 

    ASPECT Virtual Annual General Meeting

    We have set the date for our virtual AGM on Wednesday, April 7 at 1:00 pm. This falls at the same time as our weekly member meetings and we will likely have time after the AGM to have a discussion as usual for those who wish to attend.  

    Please click on the links below to access the AGM documents:

    1. Agenda
    2. Minutes from the 2018-2019 AGM held March 17, 2020
    3. Slate of Directors
    4. Proxy Form
    5. Financial Review 2019-2020 (one will be sent upon request)
    6. Provide Feedback to the Board

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • March 05, 2021 11:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I have been watching the Prime Minister again this morning, and we finally have some unexpected good news with regards to the pandemic: the Jansen Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved in Canada, plus the existing vaccine suppliers are promising larger, earlier deliveries allowing people to be vaccinated ahead of schedule. This news, along with statements from Dr. Bonnie Henry yesterday that we could see a return to some level of normalcy by this summer, is a nice bit of hope to start the weekend. What does this mean for employment and the demand for employment services in BC?

    We expected a surge last September, and then again in January, for demand on services that never materialized. However, with this more hopeful news, we can expect the long-awaited surge in early summer. It is likely that service industries most devastated by the pandemic might finally see significant returns. Also, on my call with the BC Chamber of Commerce last week, it was stated more than once that BC is poised for a quick recovery compared to the rest of Canada. 

    My mind is doing flips at the potential possibilities. The employment service sector has proven how quickly it can pivot in its response to the pandemic's highs and lows. It will be interesting to see how we respond to a drastic opening of the labour market. In the meantime, I will quietly celebrate the good news and imagine the opportunities in our future and how ASPECT can support the sector.

    Janet Morris-Reade

  • February 19, 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 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

  • February 12, 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


  • January 29, 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
  • January 22, 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. 


    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. 



    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. 



    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.



    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
  • January 15, 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.


    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.


    • 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

  • January 08, 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. 


    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
  • December 18, 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

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