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  • 21 October 2022 12:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are in the final stages of conference planning, and I am delighted to announce that the Minister of Social Development & Poverty Reduction, Hon. Nicholas Simons will deliver an opening address at breakfast on Friday, November 4. As you may remember, at past conferences, then-minister Shane Simpson was a frequent visitor to ASPECT events, and we are looking forward to getting to know Minister Simons as well. I think you'll be delighted to learn that Minister Simons comes from a history of social care and has served the public in the political realm since 2005. Click here to read his full bio.

    I wanted to thank our public service colleagues for sending some of their teams to the conference. This support of ASPECT and the work we and our members do is very much appreciated. We will be welcoming about 20 or more people from the public service to our conference this year. We are also excited to welcome Karen Blackman, Assistant Deputy Minister, Employment and Labour Market Services Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and Matt Ayres, Chief Labour Market Economist and Executive Director of the Labour Market Information Office in the Workforce Development and Skills Training Division of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. Karen and Matt will be presenting the Ministry Updates on Friday morning. 

    I understand that for many of you reading this, the ASPECT Conference is not affordable or that you cannot spare staff to attend at this time. Travel, hotel, and conference hosting prices are much higher than in past years. I'm sorry about that and wish that I had more control over it. That's why we appreciate your investments and will endeavour to deliver an outstanding event for those of you who are registered, exhibiting at and sponsoring the conference this year. I have heard your requests for a virtual conference option, which I will investigate in the coming months.

    Thank you to our sponsors CSBT and Delta Pacific Benefit Brokers Ltd. (ASPECT Benefits Program), Douglas College Training Group, Neil Squire Society, WCG, and Maximus for helping us make this event possible. 

    The ASPECT Conference will be the networking event of the year. So get those business cards printed, prepare to meet new people, and reacquaint yourself with old friends.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

    This just in, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, Andre Mercer, will help us open the conference on Thursday morning. Please click here for his bio and here, for his mandate letter.

  • 14 October 2022 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It has been an exciting week. Here are some updates:

    ASPECT Annual Conference - November 3 & 4 in Victoria

    Our ASPECT Conference is almost sold out! We have only about 15 spots left. If you're like me, you might need to hunt down your business cards to take full advantage of this networking event. Also, you might want to prepare yourself for a masked event. With the rise of COVID and the nasty flu variant expected, we'd like to ensure everyone is protected. If you have registered and get sick, you can always transfer your registration to someone else. 


    Employer Outreach

    The "10 Ways Employers Can Address Their Talent Needs by Partnering with Career Development Professionals" document is out! Last June, we had a consultation session with CERIC and the BC Career Development Association to review the results of CERIC's Employer Survey and discuss how Career Development Professionals work with employers. At this month's ASPECT Members Discussion on October 19, we will discuss the contents of this document further and share engagement ideas. Please register to get the zoom link and updates.


    Career Development Professional Centre (a.k.a CDP Institute)

    I attended a cross-country meeting yesterday where I heard the great news about the new project to establish a CDP Centre. As you might remember, a feasibility study took place over the summer that involved 440 CDPs in 47 focus groups and 550+ survey responses. Delivered by the Canadian Career Development Foundation and Funded by the Government of Canada through the Future Skills Centre, this one-year initiative will include the following:

    1. A home for the CDP Competency Framework & Code of Ethics
    2. Development of basic foundational training for CDP practice
    3. A new CDP Community of Practice web platform with the ability to create micro-communities
    4. A hub to promote existing CDP training
    5. Evidence-based practice catalogue
    6. Development and implementation of an advocacy strategy

    There will be more information at the ASPECT Conference, and I will, of course, update you on the CDP Centre and all of the above as I have more information.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • 07 October 2022 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's been a busy time preparing for the ASPECT Conference while also attending to our important advocacy work. Here's a little update for you:

    AEST STE Update

    AEST has issued an update about a new Call for Responses (CFR) that I have included again in Aspectives this week. If you didn't have time to qualify last time around, this is a good opportunity to respond. More details are below.

    Forum of Federal, Provincial & Territorial (FTP) Ministers Responsible for Seniors: Ageism in Canada

    This consultation session was fascinating. It looked at ageism and self-ageism in the areas of employment, media and social media, health and health care, safety and security, and social isolation. Here is a link to the discussion guide with key findings from 442 studies on ageism. One sentence in the guide was particularly shocking to me:

    "It has been estimated that $56 billion per year would be added to Canada’s
    gross domestic product if the number of workers aged 55 to 69 was
    increased from 54% to the percentage in top performing countries such as
    Sweden, Japan, and the United States (62%)." (Discussion Guide, p. 7)

    The FTP is asking for people to complete the online questionnaire and share your stories of ageism by October 31, 2022.

    Public Employment Services History Project

    ASPECT has taken on a history project about the last 25 years of public employment services. Vera Wu, who works for an ASPECT member, has volunteered her time to read Dr. Donna E. Wood's book, Federalism in Action: The Devolution of Canada’s Public Employment Service, 1995-2015, and create a summary and infographic that you can use to train staff, and that ASPECT can use when we are meeting politicians and public servants who are new to the sector.

    My CEO predecessor, Norma Strachan, worked with Donna to ensure that the BC experiences were documented and before she passed, Donna would frequently join Norma and me for lunch so that I had a good understanding of the history (before her book was released). Many thanks to Vera for taking on this project and to Norma for informing the book. Of course, thanks to Donna who helped me to understand and sparked my interest in public policy development. 

    BC Employer Training Grant

    At the ministry's request, I met with Cameron Ferrie, Director, of Employer Programs and Services, Workforce Development and Skills Training Division, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, for what I thought was a consultation about the BC Employer Training Grant.

    Unfortunately, it was actually an information-sharing session and not a consultation session. Because I had done a fair amount of research to prepare for a consultation, Cameron graciously allowed me to provide feedback.

    When the BC Employer Training Grant first came out, it was delivered by community service agencies of which ASPECT was one. The fund was over-subscribed each quarter. Then the decision was made to move it online -- using the BCeID to access an online application. Unfortunately, this grant is no longer easy to access for employers, is wholly under-subscribed, and employment service providers across the province are assisting employers without receiving compensation. As an employer with experience with government online applications, the online application is not exactly easy to use. I advocated for the government to reconsider engaging community service providers to promote the program and assist employers with the online application, giving service providers compensation for this work. Thanks, Cameron, for listening to and noting my feedback.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • 30 September 2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    S.U.C.C.E.S.S. CEO and ASPECT member, 
    Queen Choo delivered the closing keynote
    at the Board Voice Conference on September 24, 2022.

    Last Friday and Saturday, I attended the Board Voice Conference, where board members and executive staff of social care non-profit organizations came together to talk and learn. Kudos to Board Voice Executive Director Jody Paterson for excellently pulling together some fascinating sessions. Two topics repeatedly emerged during the two days: reconciliation in social services and the new trust-based Recovery and Resiliency Fund.


    The discussions around Truth and Reconciliations centred on how we, as the social care sector, remove barriers to Indigenous clients. How can we help to acknowledge generational trauma? And what can we do in our organizations right now?


    Of course, there were no easy answers, but the biggest thing I learned then and have been learning in the cultural safety course was to slow down and listen. Learn about the Indian Act and the history of colonial structures that have hurt Indigenous communities and which systems still do. Finally, understand that each Indigenous community has its own culture and practices. Although some share traditions, assuming homogeneous perspectives is short-sighted. 


    The Recovery and Resiliency Fund is a new social service funding approach with all government Ministries watching. At the conference, I heard from politicians and deputy minister panellists that this funding is innovative because it brings together a collaboration of funders, removes competition amongst service providers, and is trust-based. The provincial government, Vancouver Foundation, United Way BC, and the New Relationship Trust are offering $34 million to fund multi-year projects. Every applicant who qualifies for the fund will have their proposal placed into a pool from which successful proposals will be drawn. Once awarded, the funded organization is trusted to use the money as they see fit to support the project. 


    The close date is October 5, and has limited eligibility. I am hopeful that this funding style will be a resounding success so that we may see the future.


    After two days at the Board Voice conference, I had a deeper understanding of the issues, and I was inspired and hopeful. It is exactly the feeling I hope those attending the ASPECT conference have. At the request of several groups who were having difficulty organizing payment and hotel rooms, we have extended the early bird rate to Wednesday, October 5, at 11:59 pm. Unfortunately, the conference hotel is fully booked, but there are other options on our website that are walkable or a short taxi ride away.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • 16 September 2022 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last June, ASPECT and the BC Career Development Association hosted a CERIC roundtable to discuss employer engagement and how to demonstrate the value of career development professionals (CDPs). We had an excellent turnout from the sector. Thank you to Cyrielle Filias, Alexandra Manoliu, and others from the CERIC team for taking on the enormous task of compiling our notes and comments into the Virtual Community Roundtable Summary.

    But the project doesn't stop there! Coming soon is a document you can use in your employer outreach called 10 Ways Employers Can Partner with Career Services. It's in the editing phase and should be available in the coming weeks.

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this endeavour. We could not have done it without you!

    Click image below to see full document.


  • 09 September 2022 2:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of the reasons ASPECT exists is to inform government programs and policy development on your behalf. Yesterday, I had that opportunity with 28 colleagues from across Canada to do just that. Also with me on the call were ASPECT members David Lee of MOSAIC and Ken Newell of Kopar Administration Ltd. The discussion topic was the Canada Training Benefit (CTB) redesign. 

    Image source:

    The discussion paper, sent to stakeholders in advance, outlines the government's work to date and the research and consultations used for the discussion. For policy wonks like me, I did a deep dive into the previous work, and it was fascinating! Our government hosts genuinely wanted to know our thoughts, with consultation leader and former ASPECT Summit speaker Rhonda Fernandes, Director General, Youth and Skills Innovation Directorate, at the helm. 

    Here are links to documents referenced in the discussion paper:
    Our discussion questions touched on current supports, client barriers to participating in the program, information the client needs to make decisions, and what gaps should to be addressed. You can rest assured that BC's interests and the interests of employment service providers were well-represented at the discussion table.

    David Lee, spoke of the WorkBC supports, Ken Newell, voiced concerns about challenges for rural and remote clients to access training and connectivity, and I focused on the need publicly-funded mid-career employment services, and changing the payment model from tax credits to upfront grants. Everyone suggested that the CTB should increase from $250 per year to at least $1000 per year. We also suggested that government use the existing network of career development professionals to help clients navigate future careers before committing to training opportunities, as community-based providers have more expertise than a wholly online tool and a better view of the local labour market landscape. 

    The session facilitator advised us that employer stakeholders already had their consultation session, and some of what we were saying was the same as what the employer group was saying. 

    Our government colleagues are policy and program development experts. ASPECT's job is to provide practical experience by providing context with the client's needs as the focus. When we get invited to consult, we endeavour to do our homework in advance and come prepared with insight and solutions whenever possible. It will be interesting to see how much of our feedback makes it into the new CTB or if the CTB continues.

    If you are reading this and your organization is not a member, please consider joining us to support the work we do on your behalf. 

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • 26 August 2022 12:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are slowly moving forward in confirming our Conference program. Although we may not have all the information available right now, I can tell you that we have confirmed our opening keynote speaker, Victoria Maxwell. 

    About Victoria from her website:

    Victoria Maxwell, BFA, BPP, is a sought-after international (and funny) keynote speaker, performing artist and workshop leader. She uses her personal recovery story from mental illness to increase awareness, transform negative beliefs and ignite powerful conversations about mental health. 

    Blending 30 years as an actor and 15 as a wellness warrior, Victoria inspires people to take immediate action to improve their well-being. 

    We have selected the presenters and are setting the program. You may know that presenter applications were completed using Survey Monkey. As I was organizing the data we collected, I noticed something that might interest you: a graphic representation of who would most benefit from the ASPECT Conference. If you are trying to decide whether you should attend the conference or whom from your team you should bring with you, take a look at the following to show you who will most benefit from the programming.

    We are not recording the sessions, so if you are not there, you will miss out on some excellent and relevant learning. The in-person event's networking and partnership development opportunities cannot be underestimated either. 

    In-person conferences are expensive to produce, especially during this post-ish pandemic time. Hotel services are more expensive than ever. Please consider sponsoring our event to raise your organization's profile, attract new staff, and provide ASPECT with the funds needed to continue our work. Click here to find out how you can sponsor the ASPECT Conference.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

    Update on last week's question, "What are your plans for Disability Employment Awareness Month?" Unfortunately, I did not receive any responses to share.

  • 19 August 2022 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ASPECT members are already thinking ahead to September and planning their events and services for disability employment awareness month in BC. At our last ASPECT member meeting, the question was asked, "what are you doing for disability month?"  I think that is a good question for Aspectives too.

    Please take a moment to fill out our online form to share what your organization is planning, and I will share the information I receive in next week's Aspectives. Either follow the link or use the QR code for the online form.

    With the current labour market, employers are struggling to fill positions. It is a perfect time for employment service providers to show employers how they can meet their needs. 

    At ASPECT, we have two webinars coming up next month:

         New Tool to Help Employers Gauge Disability Inclusion
         September 14, 2022 at 10:00 - 11:00 am

         Introduction to the Inclusive Employers Hiring HUB
         Webinar Date to be Confirmed

    I wanted to acknowledge Nate Toevs and his colleagues at the Neil Squire Society. They hold the WorkBC Assisted Technology Services contract. Nate will be a very busy guy during the month and has made himself available for several events across the province. If you haven't already seen it, here's the link to his latest newsletter and the WorkBC ATS website

    I look forward to hearing what you have planned.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • 05 August 2022 11:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week I touched base with one of my colleagues at the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to get an update. I urge you to register on the new BC Bid portal now to be ready for opportunities coming this fall.

    The new BC Bid platform replaces the old one on August 31. There will be orientation workshops this fall, but again, register now to avoid the deadline rush.

    Yesterday, I updated ASPECT's BC Bid registration and here's what I learned:

    1. If everything works as it should, the process is relatively easy, but in my case, it didn't work as it should.
    2. You will be required to sign in using your BCeID; however, you must use your business BCeID (as a supplier) and not your Basic BCeID. ASPECT is a non-profit and a supplier, so we have two.
    3. If you use the wrong BCeID, you will automatically become a "purchaser" and not a "supplier," which cannot be changed by BCBid. Try to correct this on your own, and you can get locked out.
    4. The tech support people at BCeID and BCBid are excellent but not the same people.
    5. If I had read the instructions, I would have saved myself a lot of time and headache.

    The process that I thought would take a maximum of 30-minutes took much longer as I needed to step away occasionally to deal with my frustration and password resets. Once the transition is complete, the new BCBid portal has its advantages.

    • The supplier dashboard lets me update information quickly and easily.
    • The notification of opportunities is an email that directs you to the dashboard. The dashboard shows all the opportunities available at a glance.

    There are probably many more advantages to the new portal, but when I tried to log in to get a screenshot for this post, I accidentally got locked out because I logged into BCeID incorrectly again. Perhaps I need to step away again for another coffee...

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO


  • 22 July 2022 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Meeting at Granville Island in Vancouver. (L-R) Lubica Keighley, BC Career Development Association; Teresa Francis, Connie Corse, and Lindsay Guitard, Nova Scotia Career Development Association; and me in front in blue.

    I have discussed the possibility of a national CDP program in Aspectives, so this shouldn't surprise our readers. I'm writing today from Vancouver, where I met with Lindsay Guitard, Teresa Francis, and Connie Corse of the Nova Scotia Career Development Association (NSCA). We discussed national career development certification and the possibility of NSCDA expanding their online credentialling to include the rest of Canada. 

    My first question is why they came all this way for two meetings, mine and one with Lubica Keighley of the BC Career Development Association. The depth of our conversation answered my question right away. Not only did we discuss the impact of national certification on the profession but the challenges that are part of the bigger picture. The interesting thing is even though we are 5,800 km away from each other, we shared the following:


    1. Recruitment and retention of qualified CDPs (not necessarily credentialed). 
    2. The high level of training and experience to do the job and the sometimes low pay associated with it.
    3. The greater need for advocacy to government, funders, and the public at large regarding the economic benefits of career development, especially when it comes to employer sector councils and employers in general.

    We also talked about the possible funding for the Career Development Institute led by the Canadian Career Development Foundation and how critically it is needed right now. You might remember in May, ASPECT co-hosted a consultation session with the BC Career Development Association to discuss the feasibility. Hopefully, we will know more about the funding for the Institute this fall. If the funder -- Future Skills Centre -- is reading this, please consider the overwhelming need and that the CCDF is perfectly positioned to move forward, especially with the sector (see graphic at left from the community of practice portal. ASPECT will do everything we can to ensure that the work of the Career Development Institute will be successful. 

    After my meeting with Lindsay, Teresa, and Connie, Lubica Keighley from the BCCDA joined our meeting, and we talked about how our organizations could further collaborate, possibly in a more formal way. 

    Rest assured, we are all resolved to help those seeking meaningful work who are at the centre of what we do by ensuring a sustainable infrastructure to support their needs.

    Janet Morris-Reade

    Correction from last week's Aspectives: The cultural safety training offered by the Federation of Community Social Services of BC is not part of the $8.4M earlier this month. 

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