It's been a busy time preparing for the ASPECT Conference while also attending to our important advocacy work. Here's a little update for you:
AEST STE Update
AEST has issued an update about a new Call for Responses (CFR) that I have included again in Aspectives this week. If you didn't have time to qualify last time around, this is a good opportunity to respond. More details are below.
Forum of Federal, Provincial & Territorial (FTP) Ministers Responsible for Seniors: Ageism in Canada
This consultation session was fascinating. It looked at ageism and self-ageism in the areas of employment, media and social media, health and health care, safety and security, and social isolation. Here is a link to the discussion guide with key findings from 442 studies on ageism. One sentence in the guide was particularly shocking to me:
"It has been estimated that $56 billion per year would be added to Canada’s
gross domestic product if the number of workers aged 55 to 69 was
increased from 54% to the percentage in top performing countries such as
Sweden, Japan, and the United States (62%)." (Discussion Guide, p. 7)
The FTP is asking for people to complete the online questionnaire and share your stories of ageism by October 31, 2022.
Public Employment Services History Project
ASPECT has taken on a history project about the last 25 years of public employment services. Vera Wu, who works for an ASPECT member, has volunteered her time to read Dr. Donna E. Wood's book, Federalism in Action: The Devolution of Canada’s Public Employment Service, 1995-2015, and create a summary and infographic that you can use to train staff, and that ASPECT can use when we are meeting politicians and public servants who are new to the sector.
My CEO predecessor, Norma Strachan, worked with Donna to ensure that the BC experiences were documented and before she passed, Donna would frequently join Norma and me for lunch so that I had a good understanding of the history (before her book was released). Many thanks to Vera for taking on this project and to Norma for informing the book. Of course, thanks to Donna who helped me to understand and sparked my interest in public policy development.
BC Employer Training Grant
At the ministry's request, I met with Cameron Ferrie, Director, of Employer Programs and Services, Workforce Development and Skills Training Division, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, for what I thought was a consultation about the BC Employer Training Grant.
Unfortunately, it was actually an information-sharing session and not a consultation session. Because I had done a fair amount of research to prepare for a consultation, Cameron graciously allowed me to provide feedback.
When the BC Employer Training Grant first came out, it was delivered by community service agencies of which ASPECT was one. The fund was over-subscribed each quarter. Then the decision was made to move it online -- using the BCeID to access an online application. Unfortunately, this grant is no longer easy to access for employers, is wholly under-subscribed, and employment service providers across the province are assisting employers without receiving compensation. As an employer with experience with government online applications, the online application is not exactly easy to use. I advocated for the government to reconsider engaging community service providers to promote the program and assist employers with the online application, giving service providers compensation for this work. Thanks, Cameron, for listening to and noting my feedback.
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO