This week has been all about the 2024 pre-budget consultations. On the provincial side, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services released their report with recommendations to government. If you'll remember from my June 2 CEO report, I reported on my in-person ASPECT submission. The provincial report reflects some of our suggestions:
ASPECT requested further investment in province-wide affordable housing. The committee recommends investment in housing development and data collection to inform local governments, housing supply investment, rental housing policies, and increasing supportive housing (pp.61-62). Further:
"...explaining that several highly trained professionals have been lost to more affordable provinces while the Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training noted that BC is the highest priced jurisdiction in Canada." p. 59
ASPECT requested further investment in making BC's job market inclusive and targeted for the changing labour market. The committee recommends on page 31 of the report to "increase investment in rural and remote employment services by focusing on the realities of delivering services in unique areas." It's like they were listening to us, and they were:
"The Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training highlighted the need to invest in their mid-career services in addition to the pre-employment services it currently offers. The association explained that helping people upskill can be a strong economic driver that currently receives minimal funding. The Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training further noted that career development and employment service providers in rural areas have had inadequate funding to help develop the workforce in their communities and recommended that funding move away from population-based targets and focus on the realities of delivering services in rural communities." p. 26
I look forward to seeing the 2024 Budget and how many of our recommendations and the committee's acknowledgement of those recommendations are supported through funding.
Federally, the employment service sector is represented by the Canadian Coalition of Community-Based Employability Training (CCCBET), of which I am the board president. We have submitted our recommendations to the federal government for their pre-budget consultations that end today. We recommend a national employment strategy, core funding for community-based service providers, and continued financial support for the Future Skills Centre. Click here to read our submission. CCBET has also introduced ourselves and requested a meeting with our new federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Honourable Randy Boissonnault.
In advocacy work, success is when the government meets with you, hears what you are saying, and presents a cohesive and actionable message by joining with others who want the same things. I think this was a good week for ASPECT advocacy.
Janet Morris-Reade, CEO