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  • September 15, 2018 4:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Several of our members are currently wading their way through the Employment Program of BC (EPBC) request for proposal, either as a potential contractor or a sub-contractor or partner. With the September 21 deadline looming, the end appears in sight! You might have missed another funding opportunity through BC Bid this week from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST) entitled Skills Training for Employment (STE) Program for Young Adults.  

    Before it's release, Gord Sharpe, A/Director of the Program Design and Delivery Branch for Employment & Training Programs at the Ministry consulted with ASPECT regarding the release date of the Call for Proposal (CFP). There is a tight timeline to secure new contracts in place before the current contracts expire and the bidding process takes time. He tells me that some extensions for current programs are being processed to avoid gaps in service and staff layoffs with service providers.  

    The abundance of opportunities continues as on September 24 you can expect to see more CFPs from AEST to drop on BC Bid. The CFP released this week already has additional and amended information posted; I encourage you to go directly to the BC Bid website for the latest details.  

    In the meantime, ASPECT is looking for ways to support our members. There has been some interest in running a proposal-writing workshop early next month. Here's the big question: would you attend a proposal writing workshop in Richmond during the RFP or CFP period, i.e. during the beginning of October?

    Please let me know as soon as possible and I'll get something set up. It would likely be part two of what was offered last January and April.  

  • September 07, 2018 12:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One way ASPECT promotes excellence within the sector is by recognizing those who are showing leadership and who make a significant contribution to the sector. We have two awards: 

    The David Hutson Leadership Award is awarded to an individual who demonstrates exemplary leadership in the community-based training sector.

    Past awards were bestowed on the following individuals:

    • 2016 Nolan Eddy (pictured at right with John Dawson, ASPECT President)
    • 2015 Susan Steele
    • 2014 Clifford Bell
    • 2013 Kathy Bedard
    • 2012 Joan Andersen
    • 2011 Anny Horton
    • 2010 Jennifer De Luca
    • 2009 Marnie Marley

    The ASPECT Organization of the Year Awardcelebrates the contribution of one organization which has made a significant contribution to community-based trainers profile and progress in British Columbia. You can nominate your own organization as well as others in the sector.

    Past awards were bestowed on the following organizations:

    • 2016 – Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society
    • 2013 – Nexus BC
    • 2012 – Free Rein Associates
    • 2011 – M. Magas & Associates Inc. & Open Door Group
    • 2010 – North Island Employment Foundations Society
    • 2009 – PEERS Victoria & Kootenay Career Development Society

    Nominate yourself or a colleague and help us celebrate those making a difference and providing leadership within our sector. Go to our website for links to the online nomination forms.

    The awards may not be presented every year. 

  • August 31, 2018 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Yesterday, we wrapped up the second of two ASPECT BC Member Discussions. During these online video & teleconferences, we discussed Innovative Ideas for Performance Outcomes Management and Rural Transportation Solutions for Employment Success. Both discussions attracted strong participation from all corners of the province with 48 members signed up for the Outcomes discussion and 28 members signed up for the Rural discussion.

    The ideas discussed will be shared with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and will inform our advocacy work to other Ministries and Government Committees. Thanks to everyone who participated and filled out the post-event-surveys.
    Because of the success of these conversations, we will plan future online conversations and regional meetings to address other issues. These are not webinars, but rather opportunities to share the diverse challenges and solutions amongst ASPECT members. If you have a topic that you would like to discuss with your peers, let me know and we can set up a discussion group.  

    Click here to see the notes from our two ASPECT BC Member Discussions

  • August 13, 2018 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Late last week I had the opportunity to meet with Assistant Deputy Minister, Bindi Sawchuck, and Gord Sharpe, Director of Employment Training Programs, both of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. They updated me on some of the upcoming RFPs related to the new Workforce Development Agreement (formerly the Canada Job Fund). In case you were worried, they have confirmed that any upcoming Community Workforce Grant RFPs will be released after the closing of the current Employment Program of BC RFP!  

    It struck me and was confirmed by what I saw on the wall as I entered the office (above image), how dedicated the staff at the ministry are. Like ASPECT members, these public servants are experts at what they do and are earnestly working to find solutions under government constraints to provide the best services to clients possible. 

    There are some challenges that I'm hoping you can help crowdsource solutions. The goal will be to take your ideas back to governmentto help inform upcoming programs. Please sign up for one of the following video/teleconference times to provide your feedback and join the discussion:

    Discussion: Innovative Ideas for Performance Outcomes Management

    In this facilitated discussion, we will discuss challenges with the current outcomes-based model and brainstorm ideas in which to inform government policy. This is your opportunity to find out what your colleagues are thinking and to test your own ideas with other experts in the sector. 

    Tuesday, August 28, 2018
    10:00 – 11:00 AM
    Video & Tele Conference (details to be sent upon registration)
    Register Now.

    Discussion: Rural Transportation Solutions for Employment Success

    In this facilitated discussion, we will discuss possible solutions to overcoming transportation challenges for those facing this barrier to employment and brainstorm ideas in which to inform government policy. This is your opportunity to find out what your colleagues are thinking and to test your own ideas with other experts in the sector. 

    Thursday, August 30, 2018
    10:00 – 11:00 AM
    Video & Tele Conference (details to be sent upon registration)
    Register Now.

  • July 30, 2018 2:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last week, organizations qualified by the Employment Program of BC were sent the Request for Proposals. I understand from several qualified that this week will be about doing financial modelling and deciding how many jurisdictions and where to proceed.  To see the list of those qualifying and in what jurisdictions, go to the list here.

  • July 30, 2018 10:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    An ASPECT member recently received legal information pertaining to contracting and competition. She and her lawyer have consented to share the information with ASPECT members to help prepare for the Employment Program of BC RFP and other government RFP's expected in the coming months. Although this information does not replace an organization's need to seek their own legal advice, it will give ASPECT members the opportunity to identify needs and concerns.

    Click here for the full document.

  • July 24, 2018 4:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this month, Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care in BC announced that there will be 22,000 new licensed spaces coming over the next three years. Having safe, affordable, child care is a significant barrier to employment and ASPECT is supportive of this initiative. In recent conversations with one of our members, however, we learned that there are challenges ahead:

    1. There's currently a shortage of Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and ECE Assistants to fill current needs, let alone an expansion of services.
    2. Online training is a good first step, but formalized on-the-job training is needed to fully understand the complexities of the job.
    3. ECEs are in high demand from school disctricts who pay more, offer better hours, and benefits. Those operating child care services are having challenges attracting and retaining qualified staff.
    ASPECT, along with one of our members, is looking at how we can help mitigate the challenges of meeting child care needs while providing employers, service providers, and clients. We are meeting with diverse groups, government, and employers who are already addressing these issues to determine what's being done and to come up with a solution to present to government. If you have any ideas or comments, I invite your feedback.  

  • July 16, 2018 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Late last week the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction released its list of qualified respondents who will be invited to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage of the new EPBC contract. To see the list, click here.

    There are some surprises in some catchments as current prime contractors did not make the "qualified" list. It will be interesting to see who will move forward on the RFP when it is expected to be released later this month. ASPECT has been asking government to release the financial model in advance of the RFP, but have been told that the current procurement climate will not allow this. What was done in the 2011 cannot be done now. ASPECT has also asked that the RFP for the Assisted Technologies and Apprentice contracts , which closed last Thursday, be released. The response from government that they will release it as soon as they can, but it likely will not be until after the contracts are awarded. 

    What are your thoughts? Send me an email or post a public comment below.

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