I can't remember when I have been so busy with ASPECT's advocacy work, which I think is a result of today's dynamic labour market. It's exhilarating, providing opportunities to inform policy and funding as we move into a post-pandemic world.
The CERIC request for proposals for a market analysis of career development across Canada helped me identify a gap in BC that ASPECT is quickly filling. The provincial organizations aren't talking to each other enough even though we experience many of the same fundamental challenges and may be doing similar work.
ASPECT has membership in or worked with other organizations such as the BC Career Development Association, the Career Education Society, BC Prior Learning Network, and Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC. However, we don't always know what the other organizations are doing and are, in many cases, doing the same work. Funding streams spread out amongst various ministries and levels of government have created silos. For research projects like CERIC's and other advocacy outreach to be successful, we need to support each other actively.
ASPECT will host regular "show & tell" meetings where provincial organizations share our successes, challenges, and projects. This way, when the government needs help or a research project needs to access the experts in employment and pre-employment services; we'll be able to connect each other to experts on the ground working with the clients and employers and providing community-based labour market information.
Rest assured that while you may not see the results right away, ASPECT is madly working in the background on your behalf. Advocacy is about building understanding, collaborating with others, and ultimately supporting the clients we serve.