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.