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  • 30 July 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
    ASPECT BC
  • 21 July 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
    ASPECT BC
  • 09 July 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
    ASPECT BC

  • 02 July 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 https://bit.ly/3jmWFLD.  

    For more information about our research project and this survey, please go to https://bit.ly/3x96v8g

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

    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
    CEO, ASPECT BC

  • 25 June 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
    CEO, ASPECT BC
  • 18 June 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
    CEO, ASPECT BC
  • 11 June 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
    CEO, ASPECT BC
  • 28 May 2021 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The BC Career Development Association held their annual awards ceremony yesterday and I'm delighted to pass on some good news about some of my colleagues.

    Dr. Roberta Borgen (Neault) is an international leader in the career development field and was awarded the BCCDA Career Development Practitioner of the Year. I have worked closely with Roberta and her team at Life Strategies Ltd. to create the Values Based Leadership certificate program and continue to work with her on our Future Skills Centre research project. She has also recently published another important resource for career development practitioners called Career Development for Diverse Clients: Beyond the Basics. It is wonderful to see an honour bestowed on someone so deserving. 

    ASPECT member North Island Employment Foundation Society (NIEFS) won the award for Career Development Agency of the Year. As you may know, the leader of NIEFS is also the leader of ASPECT BC  (Val Meany our President). Val has supported her staff to continually develop their career development skills evidenced by the many staff members who attend our conferences and workshops, participate in our weekly member meetings, and strive for the needs of their clients through community development initiatives. Congratulations to the NIEFS team!

    Many of you will know Megan Hamlet of ETHOS Career Management Group by her webinars presented through ASPECT. When the pandemic hit, Megan and the ETHOS team quickly jumped in to provide free webinars to the sector through ASPECT helping organizations transition to online delivery. They also generously shared their online resources for free. Throughout the year as the needs of the sector progressed, Megan produced new webinar offerings for job developers and those working with employers. In the process, Megan became a bit of a sector rock star so I am delighted that the BCCDA recognized her as  Emerging Career Development Practitioner of the Year. 


    Congratulations to you all. You inspire us!
     


  • 21 May 2021 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Future Skills Centre Announcement

    This week I attended a call with the Future Skills Centre (FSC) where they announced the Scaling Up Skills Development program. The FSC is further investing $25.9 million to expand on some of the projects piloted two years ago. Congratulations to the BC Immigrant Employment Council (IECBC) for the successes they have had in their FAST program who are now being given the funding to build on their success. The FAST program supports skilled immigrants in specific fields connect to the Canadian workforce pre-arrival.

    IECBC CEO Patrick McKenzie presented at our Summit and even though the project was up and running for a short time, they were already seeing significant positive results. Kudos to Patrick and his team for their work. 

    Report Re-Defining Essential Skills

    Also this week, the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) released their new Skills for Success model providing a detailed description of the nine key skills. Their goal is to test the new model and garner feedback from the field. This is another opportunity for career practitioners to determine what fits and what doesn't within your practice. I encourage you to take a moment to review the report and submit your feedback to SRDC.

     

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT CEO
  • 14 May 2021 11:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Our Virtual Skills for Career Development Practitioners research project, funded by the Future Skills Centre, is moving quickly through the Literature Review phase. We have created a long list of questions that we are hoping previously published research will answer. Here are a few of them:

    • Did the move to virtual services exacerbate existing challenges serving clients?
    • What are the new challenges since moving to virtual services? 
    • Why is this research important? 
    • Has the typical percentage of time given to topics changed with moving online?
    • Has the move online changed delivering counselling skills, such as active listening or motivational interviewing?
    During the last week of May, we will host two meetings of our Virtual Learning Consortium (VLC). The first meeting will be to review the project and the expectations of the VLC. We will also have facilitated discussions around the personal experiences of CDPs transitioning to online services. The second meeting will be a continuation of personal experience discussions and a review of the online survey questions. 

    Thank you to our VLC members for volunteering to be a part of this project:
    • Michelle Luhr, YMCA of Greater Vancouver
    • Shameemah Kalaichelvan, Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) 
    • Jo-Ann Baker, Community Futures North Okanagan 
    • Bruce Buxton, Buxton Consulting
    • Janet Evans, Triangle Community Resources
    • Kyla Kershaw, Workforce Development Consulting of Northern BC
    • Annette Borrows, Community Futures South Fraser & Canadian Association of Supported Employment
    • TBD, Kootenay Career Development Society

    Want to be involved in this project? You can respond to our online survey in June and if you have a specialized area of practice serving an underrepresented group, then you can volunteer to be a part of our facilitated focus groups in July.  Please contact me if you have any questions about the project. I'm always excited to talk about it!

    Janet Morris-Reade
    ASPECT CEO


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