An exciting announcement came out from the provincial government this week that I'm delighted to share. ASPECT has been given the opportunity to grant $1.5 million to employment service providers to help those with international credit recognition challenges move to their target work faster. At right is a Facebook post from the Minister of State for Workforce Development, Honourable Andrew Mercier, spreading the good news.
The International Credential Recognition Fund is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with clients languishing in their survival jobs. The funds are available to answer the question, "Where are the gaps in service, and what can we do to help?" It's an opportunity to put into practice and test out those innovative ideas you've been mulling over or take an existing program and make it even better.
Before the fund announcement, I consulted with a group of service providers and former service providers from around the province who advised where the current gaps might be and how this funding could help. Here are just a few of their ideas:
- Establish or expand mentoring programs so clients can connect to others in their community doing their target jobs.
- Offer language expansion work-specific programs so clients may prepare for their careers and credential exams in Canada in their chosen fields.
- Establish a preparation club or series of virtual or in-person meetings for target recipients to meet, share progress, practice, and/or prepare for credentialling exams.
The good news is that there are many opportunities to help clients, and for service providers, a condition of receiving the funding is to create a community of practice or incubator of great ideas. The not-so-good news is that we need to disburse all the money and have success metrics (determined by the service provider) by March 2024. So get your skates on, check out the fund information and online application form on the ASPECT website, and get ready to help newcomers with internal credentials move toward their career dreams in BC. Anyone interested in applying for this fund is invited to a virtual information session on Wednesday, July 12, at 1:00 pm. Please register to receive the link.
Thank you to Hon. Andrew Mercier and the Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, Hon. Selina Robinson, for making this opportunity possible. I am confident we won't let you down.
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO