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  • July 19, 2024 10:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I've been contemplating the dynamic labour market and its future but struggled to grasp the driving factors. However, a report featured in CERIC's CareerWise Weekly offered an insightful perspective that clarified things for me.

    Deloitte's report, Global Disruption in 4D: Exploring Intersecting Forces Impacting Canada's Future, expertly pulls together themes about the workforce and how we can prepare for the future, making it a good summer read to ponder. I was also reading this report with the lens of the value of community-based employment services and how our sector supports the larger labour market.

    Image found on page 4 of the report: 
    Global Disruption in 4D: Exploring Intersecting Forces Impacting Canada's Future

    According to the report, Canada faces four major disruptions: talent transformation, AI revolution, race to net zero, and geopolitical uncertainty. These interconnected forces are reshaping the nation's future, necessitating systems-level thinking, collaboration, and innovative approaches to navigate these challenges effectively.

    The talent transformation, while presenting workforce shortages and skill gaps due to an aging population, evolving skills needs, and changing worker preferences, also offers an opportunity to enhance Canada's competitiveness if addressed effectively.

    Talent shortages, difficulty commercializing AI, and global competition for AI resources slow the AI revolution. This delay results in missed opportunities for AI-enabled growth.

    The race to net zero presents an urgent need to act on climate change. This requires coordinated international efforts and dealing with geopolitical conflicts impacting energy supply chains. Failure to act could lead to severe economic and environmental consequences, while coordinated climate action can boost the global economy.

    Geopolitical uncertainty involves global power shifts, protectionism, and trade disruptions impacting supply chains and security. These factors strain global supply chains and increase trade tensions, posing risks and opportunities for Canada.

    The report concludes that Canada must address these disruptions holistically, recognizing their intersections and trade-offs. Where do contracted community-based employment service providers fit in?

    Our value is not just in collaboration and innovation but in being crucial to keeping Canada moving forward. We have networks provincially, federally, and globally with on-the-ground labour market intelligence. We are integral to the solution.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • June 27, 2024 11:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This spring, we invited staff from ASPECT member organizations to complete a brief survey about ASPECT's services and areas for improvement. Unlike previous years, only members could respond, ensuring accurate feedback. We received over 100 responses and appreciate everyone's participation. Your input guides us in developing new products and services and improving our current offerings.

    • Members are primarily satisfied with ASPECT, with 49% very satisfied and 35% somewhat satisfied. While this is a good start, there is still room for improvement.
    • Most members (84%) value ASPECT's annual conference. Two-thirds appreciate the opportunities to connect with funding partners and engage in advocacy work. See the first glance of our 2024 conference schedule, with some details yet to be confirmed.
    Also, last week, we released our new advocacy toolkit, featuring key messages on various challenges. This is our initial step, with plans to add templates, politician contact information, and other resources to support your advocacy efforts.
    • ASPECT members (100%) look for sector news and updates in the Aspectives newsletter. They also regularly visit the ASPECT website (54%) and read the weekly CEO Report (30%).
    • Professional development interests include working with barriered clients (71%), AI training (69%), and labour market trends (64%). The conference schedule will reflect these topics, including a presentation from Londa Morris and Beth Hurst from Kootenay Employment Services on "Revolutionizing Workforce Dynamics: Navigating Emerging Technological Systems." They have created a short survey to learn about the tech tools used by employment service providers, which they will share at the conference. Click here for the survey.

    Additionally, ASPECT has contracted Life Strategies Inc. to develop more online and in-person learning opportunities. Please take a moment to complete our survey to share your needs.
    As only 30% of you read the CEO report, here's a quick "call-to-action" list:

    Congratulations to Tammy Fuller of KCR Community Resources in Kelowna for winning the $50 e-gift card draw from survey respondents. Finally, thank you to everyone who responded to the ASPECT Members Survey. We are listening, and we are acting on what we’ve heard.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
  • June 21, 2024 8:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In advance of the scheduled October 19, 2024, provincial election, we wanted to quantify our members' advocacy through our recent members’ advocacy survey and provide tools to augment your individual advocacy work.
    Advocacy Survey  

    Although the response was not as high as we hoped, we did receive some clear data.
    Seventy-five percent of respondents are engaged in advocacy, primarily through educational efforts aimed at employers, community members, and stakeholders. All participants advocate to enhance services for clients and are motivated by a commitment to their causes. The predominant challenge cited by 60% is limited funding. Additionally, between 70% to 85% of respondents believe that the public lacks an understanding of the significant role played by the community-based employment services sector in British Columbia, which includes addressing labour shortages, removing barriers for newcomers, and tackling issues in rural and remote areas.
    Advocacy Toolkit

    I am delighted to announce the release of our new advocacy toolkit that provides you with information about what advocacy means to us, along with key messages addressing topics such as diversity, pay equity, rural and remote, youth, education and training, international credential recognition, job transitions, worker shortages, and housing and transportation.

    Member Data Update

    Starting next month, we will contact all member organizations to update our database and collect data about the size and impact of our sector in BC. This will help ASPECT and you have important statistics needed to describe the impact our sector makes upon others.
    Community Reporters Program
    Last week, we launched the pilot of our community reporter program, where we conduct interviews with our members and those working within the career development ecosystem to talk about their work and what makes it unique and impactful. Short videos are being produced to share across all social media and web platforms with the #humansofemployment hashtag to be easily accessible to show others the work you do. At right is a photo of Isabelle Bennett interviewing Aidan Schweinbenz at the John Howard Society of Victoria. The program will see ASPECT hiring youth throughout the province to create content and build their personal content creation portfolios for future work. The first videos are in the editing stage now, but I want to thank our members in Victoria and Nanaimo who made time for this pilot.
    These tools and activities will help us spread the word about the good work you do, and I would like to acknowledge our communications manager, Pamela Daoust, and communications assistant, Isabelle Bennett, for your hard work in putting everything together. I hope you’ll agree that the data collected with the advocacy supports provided can make a significant difference in educating all for the upcoming election and beyond.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • June 14, 2024 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week's theme is engagement: what makes it effective, how we can improve it, and the quality it brings to our work.

    Two Fridays ago, I had the opportunity to attend an afternoon session hosted by the United Way Public Policy Institute called "Decolonizing Systems through Collaboration." It was four hours of sharing stories, learning from each other, and building relationships for future work. Although I have never participated in the United Way Public Policy Institute, being in the room with others dedicated to engagement to make public policy inclusive and reflective was intoxicating. Click here for more information on the program intake for the January – June 2025 cohort, which opens in September.

    I attended Board Voice's conference in Richmond last Thursday and Friday. The discussions continued many of the approaches to informing public policy. This experience reminded me that understanding how policy is created, tested, and implemented is crucial in ASPECT's work.

    Yesterday, I was interviewed in support of the Credential Recognition Improvement Branch (CRIB) at the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, which has been nominated for the Premier's Innovation and Excellence Awards. They were nominated for the work and creation of the Credentials Recognition Act, and because I was part of the process, as were many of our ASPECT members and their clients, I was delighted to be involved. 

    Engagement is crucial for improving public policy and service delivery. The recent United Way Public Policy Institute and Board Voice conference sessions highlighted the importance of collaboration and inclusivity. Recognizing the Credential Recognition Improvement Branch's work underscores the power of collective effort. We continue striving for better engagement and inclusivity to enhance our impact. Accordingly, ASPECT wants to do better in attracting more leaders with diverse backgrounds to our board and sector, but we are still determining where to start. Beginning June 25, we will launch a series of engagement sessions to explore how we can create an inclusive environment for everyone in our Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Committee. I hope you will join us.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
  • June 07, 2024 10:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I’ve been hearing from our members that you are doing more with less, being asked to provide more services to more clients and not having adequate resources and receiving recognition. That is why it is interesting and reassuring to review the latest research findings Statistics Canada in their National Insights into Non-Profit Organizations report and the 2024 State of BC’s Non-Profit Sector: Under Pressure report released yesterday by Vantage Point. 


    I should note that not all ASPECT members are nonprofits. However, in my advocacy work, I usually don't make this distinction because all ASPECT members, regardless of their business registration, focus on delivering services and supporting their communities. 


    According to Statistic Canada, nonprofits produce $216.5 billion in economic activity, equivalent to 8.2% of the gross domestic product. More than two-fifths of non-profits meet the needs and provide services to all Canadians. That was an unexpected, yet not surprising, figure for me. It is no wonder that demand for social services has increased. The report reveals that 70% of the sector was most likely to experience increases in demand. However, their capacity to meet demand did not increase. Overall demand outpaces capacity to meet needs.  


    In BC, this trend is evident across the province. Vantage Point’s report reveals that the non-profit sector in BC is facing a surge in demand for services and support from clients and communities, while its ability to deliver these services has not increased. Over the past 12 months, the sector has seen decreases in all revenue sources except for government funding, which has remained stable. However, operating expenses for non-profits have risen significantly compared to previous years. Despite these challenges, it is encouraging to read that the sector remains optimistic and hopeful, feeling more needed now than ever. 


    How can we address the growing gap between funding and need? From ASPECT’s perspective, we are collaborating with public policymakers and politicians to share what is happening on the ground. We are also working with other advocacy organizations on larger issues through groups like the Social Services Sector Roundtable, the Coalition of Community-Based Employability Training, and the National Advocacy Committee for Career Development. Our focus includes addressing labor shortages, Truth & Reconciliation, procurement, community-building, and economic development in the sector. Reports from Statistics Canada and Vantage Point provide the compelling data we need to demonstrate our sector’s impact at local, provincial, and national levels. 

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO, MACD


  • May 30, 2024 6:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week, we celebrate Anti-Racism Awareness Week in BC. Every year, this is an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of racism and our actions to fight it. Social justice is essential to ASPECT's mission and work, acknowledging that we can always learn and improve.

    To help you prepare for activities within your community or reflect on how you can contribute to change, we've curated the following selection of anti-racism e-learning opportunities, research, and tools. The Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network website offers more resources, including educational material.   

    Whose Land is it Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization
    This handbook, supported by the British Columbia Federation of Post-Secondary Educators, looks into the impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples and paths for decolonization and reconciliation.  

    Challenging Racist BC
    Co-publishers University of Victoria (UVic) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) published an 80-page illustrated book entitled Challenging Racist "British Columbia".  

    Faces of Racism
    This interactive resource for Asian communities offers ways to respond to subtle racism, whether experienced in public, at school or work.

    Training for Gender-Diverse Youth
    This Toronto-based group delivers workshops to create learning and unlearning spaces for young Black, Indigenous, and racialized women and gender-diverse youth.

    Call It Out
    This 30-minute interactive e-course by the Ontario Human Rights Commission allows you to learn about the history and impact of racism in Canada.

    Race Relations in Canada 2021 Survey
    Survey report by the Environics Institute for Survey Research and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation

    In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care
    This report by former Judge Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is based on consultations with nearly 9,000 people, including Indigenous patients, family members, third-party witnesses and healthcare workers, as well as unprecedented analysis of health data.

    Indigenous Ally Toolkit
    The Montreal Indigenous Community NETWORK offers an easy-to-read, three-step toolkit to be a better ally to Indigenous peoples. This document guides you through a journey of learning, self-reflection, and action.

    Did you know that BC introduced in 2022 the Anti-Racism Data Act? The Act became law on June 2, 2022. It allows the government to safely collect and use information to address systemic racism and help identify gaps in programs and public services. This week, research findings were released for the first time under the Act and indicate systemic barriers for Indigenous and racialized individuals in the BC Public Service, including under representation as employees, particularly in management and executive roles. In April 2024, the BC government tabled the Anti-Racism Act, which promises to hold public bodies accountable for addressing systemic racism in policy and programs.

    We hope you find these resources helpful and join us in celebrating Anti-Racism Awareness Week!

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
  • May 23, 2024 9:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of our jobs at ASPECT is to stay abreast of the trends and innovations in the sector, looking for ways to support employment service providers in their work now and in the future. This week, we attended the Future Skills Centre's webinar Navigating the Role of AI in Skills Development Ecosystem. As I write this, the webinar recording has not yet been posted, but when it is, it will likely be posted here. Updated June 5: here's the link to the webinar recording.

    The webinar addressed how AI is reshaping work landscapes and what it means for skills development across industries. Mobilizing the research the Future Skills Centre has funded, this might be a good abridged version for you to look up ideas without sitting through the 90-minute webinar recording.

    For instance, did you know that nearly 42% of the Canadian workforce needs to reskill by 2026 to adapt to AI? I didn't. Among some key insights that could redefine our approach to skills development in an AI future, we learned that some predict that AI could widen income gaps by reinforcing discriminatory workplace practices and affect worker health by creating pressure to keep up with machines. 

    I recommend looking at this four-part research published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine led by Arif Jetha, Associate Scientific Director and Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH). You can also learn more about the Worker Health & AI research project on IWH's website.

    The Future Skills Centre, the Michener Institute of Education at UHN, and the Vector Institute are investing $1.52 million in a two-year project that will address the knowledge gap in how to educate and train health professionals in the effective, appropriate, safe, and compassionate use of AI. Panelist David Wiljer, Executive Director of Digital Education at the Michener Institute of Education, presented how his team is focusing on reshaping the expertise and mentality of frontline healthcare professionals to cultivate a workforce equipped with the proficiency, aptitudes, and capacities essential for driving AI-powered health initiatives across practices, organizations, and systems. Learn more about this collaborative project on Future Skills Centre's website.

    One of the webinar's panelists, Vivian Li, recently authored Mind the Gap: Compensation Disparity Between Canadian and American Technology Workers, in which we delve into the pay disparity between Canadian and American tech workers and its impact on Canada's tech sector. Magnet, an initiative out of Toronto Metropolitan University, provides technology-driven labour market insights that focus on the future of work. Take a look at their labour market insights and research reports.

    Remember, we at ASPECT are here to help you stay informed and inspired. Our website hosts a curated collection of sector reports, updated weekly with fresh research papers. We've done the work so you don't have to. Visit our website to access these valuable resources.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    , CEO

  • May 03, 2024 5:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I am writing this report from Dublin, Ireland, in advance of the 5th VPL Biennale, a project I have been volunteering on for the past year. Hosted by Ireland, Canada, and the US, this biennale is an international conference with 377 delegates and speakers from Mongolia, Kenya, Iceland, Spain, and South Africa, to name just a few.

    The program for this conference is immense! There are 45 concurrent sessions, 4 rounds of lightning talks, 4 table discussions, and 6 plenary and panels squeezed into two very full days. Click here for a full list of speakers and session descriptions.

    For those who, like me, may not have had an opportunity to attend an international conference, part of my job at the conference will be to help support the creation of post-event learning and disseminate session learnings through recorded sessions, social media posts, and a series of BCPLAN podcasts. I have brought along one of my daughters, Rachel, to help make this happen. Many of the topics discussed will be particularly relevant to those of you who work with clients requiring validation of their prior learning, making this event especially valuable for your practice.

    I am here because of my position as co-president of the BC Prior Learning Action Network, of which ASPECT is a founding member. Understanding how all these networks, particularly micro-credentials, which are a subset of prior learning accreditation and recognition (PLAR), fit together is crucial for our advocacy work. By providing international perspectives on solving local challenges, we can better understand broader workforce development practices.

    I'm grateful for this opportunity and eagerly anticipate experiencing the collective efforts of the planning committee over the past 18 months coming to fruition. Thank you to all for their work on this project, especially my co-president at BCPLAN, Susan Forseille, and my colleague at CAPLA, Andy Brown, who make up the rest of the Canadian contingent. With their help, we are taking BCPLAN and ASPECT to the international stage. Very exciting indeed!

    Check out the VPL Biennale website for access to videos and papers from the 4th VPL Biennale in Iceland.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • April 26, 2024 8:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Here at ASPECT, we strive to be inclusive of the entire employment service sector, regardless of ASPECT membership. The continuum and various facets of employment services extend beyond our realm of publicly-funded employment programs. To remind yourself of the vastness of the larger sector, I invite you to check out the results of the mapping project Hidden Sector, Hidden Talent: Mapping Canada's Career Development Sector. Whether your organization is an ASPECT member or not, we are here to support you with our advocacy work, professional development opportunities, and leadership. We value your contribution to the sector and encourage you to consider joining our diverse community.


    This time, however, we are not inviting non-members to participate in our annual member survey. We have done so in the past, but this year, we wanted to ensure that our members have their say. This morning, a member survey was sent out in two parts: the first is for everyone who works in employment services in our member organizations, and the second is for organizational leaders to provide their thoughts about where we should be focusing our advocacy efforts. All members are invited to answer the first part, and then, if you are a leader within your organization, you are also invited to take the advocacy survey. The first survey is 2 minutes long, and the second is a bit longer than that. We have designed the survey to be quick and easy to complete, so we encourage you to take the time to share your valuable insights with us. 


    In the past year's surveys, we have learned that respondents are generally happy with ASPECT's work. However, some respondents answered that they didn't know if their organization was a member. We hope to remedy that statistical error this year: everyone who received an email is in our member database. 


    For those of you wondering if your organization is a member of ASPECT, here is the list of nearly 100 organizations. If you do not see your organization and want to be a part of the exclusive group and support our work, please consider joining us. If you are a member, and one of your community partners should also be a member, take advantage of our member referral program.

    Archway Community Services
    Archway Society for Domestic Peace
    Arrow & Slocan Lakes Community Services
    Aware Society of BC
    Back in Motion
    BC Centre for Ability
    Beacon Community Services Society
    Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC
    Bridges for Women Society
    Buxton Consulting Ltd
    Career Centre
    Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society
    CFDC of Boundary Area
    CFDC of Central Okanagan
    CFDC North Okanagan
    CFDC Thompson Country
    College of New Caledonia - Mackenzie
    Creative Employment Access Society
    CVIJOBS Career Centre
    Developmental Disabilities Association
    Discovery Community College Ltd
    DIVERSEcity Community Resources  Society
    Douglas College-Training Group
    Employment Connections North - Fort St John
    Engaged HR
    ETHOS Career Management Group
    Fort Nelson Employment Services Inc.
    Fraser Works Co-op
    Free Rein Associates
    Golden Community Resources Society
    Greater Trail Community Skills Centre
    Greater Vancouver YMCA
    Hecate Strait Employment Development Society
    Horton Ventures Inc.
    Immigrant Services Society of BC
    Inclusion Powell River Society
    Indigenous Community for Leadership & Development Group
    INEO Employment Counselling Inc
    Intercultural Association of Victoria
    Island Work Transitions Inc.
    John Howard Society of Victoria
    Kamloops Immigrant Services
    Kelowna Community Resources
    Kelowna Economic Recovery and Employment Development Association
    Kitimat Community Services Society
    Kootenay Career Development Society
    Kootenay Employment Services Society
    Kopar Administration Ltd
    Langley Community Services Society
    LIFT Community Services
    M Daniels Consulting Ltd.
    Make A Change Canada
    March of Dimes Canada
    Maximus Canada Employment Services Inc.
    Mission Community Skills Centre Society
    Nanaimo Youth Services Association
    Neil Squire Society
    NexusBC Community Resource Centre
    North Island Employment Foundation Society
    North Shore Multicultural Society
    North Vancouver Island Aboriginal Training Society
    Northwest Training Ltd.
    Nuuchahnulth Tribal Council
    Obair Economic Society
    Okanagan Training and Development Council
    Open Door Group
    Options Community Services Society
    Our WorkPlace
    Outlines for Life Society
    Pacific Community Resources Society
    Piers (Partners in Resources)
    Powell River Employment Program - LIFT
    Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment & Training Association
    Princeton & District Community Skills Centre
    Progressive Intercultural Community Sevices (PICS) Society
    Skills Centre
    Sources Community Resources Society
    South Okanagan Immigrant Community Services
    The Career Foundation
    Triangle Community Resources
    Upper Skeena Development Centre
    Val Meaney and Associates
    Vancouver Island Vocational and Rehabilitation Services Ltd
    Vernon & District Immigrant & Community Services Society
    WCG International Inc.
    Workforce Development Consulting of Northern BC Ltd.
    WorkLink Employment Society
    Yellowhead Community Service Clearwater Employment
    YMCA of Greater Vancouver
    YWCA Metro Vancouver
    Associate Members
    Vancouver Community College
    Implicit Career Services Inc
    Indian Residential School Survivors Society
    Reciprocal Members
    BC Career Development Association
    BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres
    Career Education Society
    BC Labour Market Report

    Thanks to all for your support of ASPECT and welcome to those who are interested in joining.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • April 18, 2024 5:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Some of you may know that I'm passionate about community development, which is why I love my job at ASPECT. I like collaboratively solving problems, sharing new ideas and innovations, and figuring out how to use my limited resources and influence to improve things for others. That is why I want to tell you about a call I had on Thursday with a couple of ASPECT members.

    Londa Morris and Beth Hurst of Kootenay Employment Services in Creston set up a meeting to discuss some of their ideas for presentations at the ASPECT conference. All three ideas were exciting, and we will likely pursue all three. Although still in the developing phase, I wanted to tell you a little about them to inspire you to step forward and submit a proposal. 

    1. What Tech Tools Are You Using?

    This session will be one part community research, one part presentation, and one part information sharing. First, ASPECT will send out a survey to our networks to find out what tools others are using, and then Beth and Londa will present the findings at the conference, followed by a facilitated live demo and discussion. 

    2. Emerging Staff Benefits & Benefit Measurement

    Staff recruitment and retention continue to be a challenge for many in our sector. This session, still in development, will be a short presentation of what other organizations are doing and ways to measure and communicate benefits to current and potential staff. It will be followed by a menti-meter-style discussion about what others are doing in employment services. The data collected will help create sector solutions for our advocacy work.

    3. Deep Dive into Funding Sources

    This session is just a germ of an idea right now, but we will examine new and effective ways for organizations to find funding. Our guest presenter will provide some basics, followed by a funder panel that will answer questions and share ideas.

    I love the community development perspective of the call with Londa and Beth. They noticed an education need, considered what kind of conference sessions they would like to attend, and reached out to brainstorm ideas. I was able to contribute by surveying the members, taking some of their ideas, and providing resources to them, all so that ASPECT members and conference delegates could benefit from an excellent learning opportunity. It's a fabulous feeling when ideas develop into something fun and exciting.

    If you have an idea for presenting at the ASPECT conference, please let us know by filling out a proposal form at The ASPECT call for presenters closes on May 15 at midnight, while Cannexus25 currently has its call for presenters out until May 31. Why not create one proposal for both conferences? 

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

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