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.
The research revealed the following:
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)
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.