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  • October 08, 2021 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    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.


    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.

  • October 01, 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
  • September 24, 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 
  • September 16, 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

  • September 10, 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

  • 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

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