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  • May 13, 2022 8:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A lot is going on, not only here at ASPECT but also in the sector at large. It's weeks like this when using an electronic calendar is an asset.

    In our Aspectives News, you'll see a listing of the member meetings, consultations, and professional development opportunities ahead. I wanted to draw your attention to a few of them.


    CERIC is undertaking a survey to investigate professional development in the career development sector. Part market research and part identifying gaps in much-needed training, this survey will help inform CERIC in their future offerings. Take the survey.

    One such future offering builds on CERIC's research Career Development in the Canadian Workplace: National Business Survey. The results were released in January of this year, and this last week, we had two excellent webinars helping us unpack the results. Watch the recordings. Kudos to Dr. Candy Ho of the University of the Fraser Valley for doing a fantastic job moderating both webinars. 

    Next, we will meet provincially and virtually as a community of practice on June 7th to discuss how we can collectively meet businesses' needs. This is a "cameras-on" session limited to 100 people. Reserve your spot here. The goal is to create a suite of resources and best practices for career developers.


    Later today, ASPECT is partnering with the BC Career Development Association to host a consultation about the potential Career Development Professional Institute from the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF). This is exciting as the CCDF was approached by the Future Skills Centre for a project proposal meaning possible angel funding. The consultations across Canada end today. If you can't join us this afternoon, there's still time to complete the online survey. In the meantime, check out their microsite and join the community of practice now.

    I know that this is a lot of information to process, especially when many of you are busy ramping up your spring workshops and services. Rest assured that ASPECT will endeavour to be on top of the latest national developments and news to share with you. 

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • April 29, 2022 10:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The early results of our stakeholder analysis show that advocacy is the number one reason why member organizations join ASPECT and renew their membership every year. As you may know, advocacy takes a ton of work and expertise to represent the collective voice of all our members. One paramount message in all our work is to remind funders, and anyone else who will listen, that our employment service providers are the experts. Employment service providers can quickly see the gaps in client services, have connections to local employers and their needs, and spot flawed policies quicker than ever.

    By all accounts, we are heading into another round of RFPs this summer over the next 12-24 months. The feedback from the experts on the ground, i.e., you, is critical to inform future funding programs and policies. That's why we are excited to offer multiple opportunities to get together virtually to have you share your thoughts.


    Our ASPECT events page, you will see that we have a lot going on in May, and I understand that what we are asking of you requires a time commitment away from your day job. Getting this right is crucial if we are to advocate for our clients, local employers, and our communities. We have information that cannot be gleaned from analyzing data collection or individual reports. Getting together to discuss some of these topics will allow us to form a collective voice, support each other, and maybe build new relationships within our community of practice.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO

  • April 22, 2022 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week ASPECT held its Annual General Meeting virtually and picked up two brand new board members. Please help me welcome our new board members:

    Katt Britton
    Kootenay Career Development Society
    Senior Manager, Employment Programs and Procurement

    Katt has worked in the sector for the last 20+ years in rural and remote communities and has a deep understanding of employment services in BC. During this time, she has amassed a variety of skills that she can contribute to the work at ASPECT. 

    Kirsty Peterson
    YMCA of Greater Vancouver
    Director, Employment and Immigrant Services
    Community Operations

    Kirsty has more than 10 years of experience in board and committee leadership within the Employment Services Sector and in other advocacy organizations. She is joining the ASPECT board because she wishes to contribute to the sector at large.

    Thank you to our current board members and to Kim Lauritsen (Community Futures North Okanagan) and Lori Forgeron (Workforce Development Consulting North) for volunteering to serve for another 2 years. 

    ASPECT is currently undertaking a stakeholder analysis that will inform our strategic planning process in June this year. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • April 01, 2022 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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 SocietyBC 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.


    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
  • March 04, 2022 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sharon Ferriss from CERIC asked me to promote Wayfinder, their new reflective practice resources tool to enhance Career Development within Experiential Learning, so I thought I would try it out. All I can say is, "Wow!"

    You can access so many resources at a click by searching by your role -- post-secondary staff or faculty, designer or developer, event or workshop facilitator, employer, community organization, K-12 teacher or counsellor, student or learner -- and then filtering your search by resource categories: tool, network, concept, or catalogue. 

    Funded by CERIC and developed by OneLifeTools, Wayfinder is a valuable portal that is a tool like I have never seen before. On April 8th, CERIC will be hosting a free launch event where OneLifeTools co-founders Mark Franklin (University of Toronto) and Rich Feller (Colorado State University) will walk through the tool and show how experiential learning can be integrated into your practice.

    Kudos to the CERIC team for producing this product.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • February 25, 2022 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week has been an extremely busy time for labour market information. I'll try to unpack some of the highlights in case you missed them.

    Future Skills Summit

    According to Pedro Barata, CEO of the Future Skills Centre, this online event spanned 3 days with 54 speakers and 14+ sessions, attracting thousands of delegates from workers, labourers, employers, governments at all levels, committee members, educators, researchers, etc. There was so much information to process, but I'll quote Pedro in his closing remarks, who identified the reoccurring themes:
    • First and foremost, the importance of purpose in our recurring work, and the recurring theme of skills as a crucial piece of the puzzle for a reclusive recovery and shared prosperity... 
    • The second reoccurring theme, career development is our super power. It may be underappreciated, but it is our superpower that will make or break our ability for every Canadian to embrace a lifelong learning agenda. 
    • Third, we also heard example after example of the need to work with employers, but to go beyond one employer at a time, and work with whole sectors is the only way we will meaningfully embed skills development as a core business strategy and navigating change.
    • Finally, the opportunity for us to get ahead of the curve on the megatrends that will shape our economy. We will talk about this with our panel. Things like immigration, SME, and the green ship. Our work is complex, but it is our job to help make sense of it for Canadians, and to see where we go from here.

    Provincial Budget

    On Tuesday, the government announced a deficit budget that addresses some of the larger barriers to employment:
    • Childcare: Further investments in child care that include a promise of $20 a day for parents by the end of 2022, adding more licensing officers  to speed up the certification process for new daycares, more ECE training positions, and financial supports for those seeking the training. 
    • Mental Health & Addictions: Increased funding toward more emergent care supports in communities, continued funding to the Pathway to Hope program, and support for 15 First Nations Primary Health Care Centres.
    • Housing & Homelessness: Adding another $100 million to the province's 10-year plan to combat homelessness, including more staff to process applications under the Housing Hub program.
    • Labour Market Supports: Tourism & Arts are to receive $25 million for pandemic recovery and old-growth loggers can expect a $185 million fund for retraining, bridging to retirement, and community economic development to make way for the green economy.
    • Truth & Reconciliation: Creation of a new UNDRIP secretariat with an investment of $12 million over the next three years to ensure that BC follows the laws under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act.
    • Connectivity: Further investments to connect 280 First Nations, rural and remote communities to high-speed internet. 

    Ceric RFP

    And just when I started relaxing into all this information, things got even more exciting. Ceric dropped a request for proposal for market research on the career development sector. This project is exciting in that it will provide government, researchers, and employment services providers with valuable data that has the potential to affect funding frameworks and raise the profile of employment services in Canada. I am working with some of our partners to determine how ASPECT and its members can be involved in this endeavour. 

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • February 11, 2022 12:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the excitement of Christmas morning or the arrival of the latest IKEA catalogue, the BC Government released its Labour Market Outlook 2021. It follows the release of the Canadian Government's Labour Force Survey for January last Friday. Finally, with CERIC's release of their National Employer Survey late last month and the upcoming free webinars New LMI for Career Practitioners in Canada, what we have is an abundance of labour market information.

    Labour Market Outlook 2021

    I love studying the information in the report and seeing which jobs are in demand, and in growing demand, over the coming decade. Each position has its own profile and in some cases, a little video explaining the jobs. Christian St. Cyr of the 

    BC Labour Market Report does an excellent job of unpacking labour market information, making it easy to understand and travelling deeper into what the data means. I encourage you to sign up for his webinar on February 24 where he will dive deeper into the information.

    Labour Force Survey for January - Canadian Government

    Although the unemployment rate increased slightly in January, BC is out-performing the rest of Canada in many of the labour force indicators. Click here to download a PDF of the BC highlights. 

    National Employer Survey - CERIC

    The CERIC survey provides evidence of what we are hearing from every jurisdiction in BC: employers are struggling to recruit and retain skilled staff. This survey is an update of their 2013 survey and shows how much the labour market has changed. We've been hearing about the labour market crunch for years and it is now upon us. Click here to download a copy of the executive summary. 

    Also, a helpful way to unpack the report findings is to take a look at how the media has covered it. The following are news stories posted on the CERIC website.  I think you'll agree that this is an exciting time of year for Labour Market Information. I hope you'll take the time to peruse these reports. So many interesting nuggets of information!

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
  • February 04, 2022 12:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Something happened this week that was quite exciting for me: the Canadian Journal of Career Development (CJCD) published our research in an article called A Needs Assessment of Virtual Career Practitioners.  

    As you may remember, ASPECT received support from the Future Skills Centre, funded by the Government of Canada, to investigate the transition of our members from in-person employment services to virtual employment services and identify gaps in competencies. We wanted to collect and record information from the experts in the community to inform funders. Our weekly ASPECT member meetings sparked us to undertake this research as we discussed how CDPs were managing the transition. 

    With the help of nine ASPECT members from throughout the province, whom we called the Virtual Learning Consortium, we designed an online survey and questions for a series of focus groups. Using the not-yet-released 

    National Competency Profile for Career Development Professionals as a framework, we set out to answer the questions pertaining to virtual services:
    1. What competencies do CDPs currently have?
    2. What are the skills gaps and obstacles?
    3. How can the employment services sector address the situation with responsive solutions?
    The CJCD article addresses the first two questions. It shows that engaging with reluctant clients, digital literacy, building rapport with clients, and addressing client health are the top four areas that became more difficult in transitioning to virtual services. 
    Amongst other findings, we were surprised to note that there was very little difference in the ages of CDPs and their challenges with technology. On the client-side of the research, we were surprised that youth did not fare as well with virtual services as one would expect from a population who seem to live their lives online. 
    The final report to the Future Skills Centre is still in progress, but we were delighted to take one part of our research and present it with academic rigour. Our final report will outline more answers to question three above as it is not included in the publication. 
    There is so much gratitude to share: the participants in our weekly member meetings, those who served on the virtual learning consortium that helped steer the research, and the many of you who responded to the survey and contributed through the focus groups. None of this research would be possible without you. 
    Also, special thanks to our academic lead, Dr. Roberta Borgen and Cassie Taylor, our outstanding research assistants Erica Thomson and Bennett King-Nyberg, our project partner Deborah Bromley and her team at ETHOS Career Management. Thank you to all of you who do this work every day. I hope you can share in my excitement about this published record of the work you have been doing over the past two years.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • January 14, 2022 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Artwork source: LMIC


    You might have missed the Labour Market Information Council (LMIC) and the Future Skills Centre (FSC) report, Are Adults Making Use of Career Services in Canada?, released last November. There is a ton of information to unpack that might be helpful to you.
    For those who don't have time to read the entire report, here are their 3 Key Findings:
    • Only one in five adults in Canada use career services
    • Adults who use career services find it helpful
    • Most adults in Canada aren't accessing career services
    Distilling the report down to 3 points is entirely reductive for such an evidence-based read. Still, it got me thinking about how ASPECT can help promote and support career services both provincially & federally?
    Candy Ho, from the University of the Fraser Valley, in her companion article to the report, called Two Ways We Can Connect More Adults to Career Services in Canada, suggests that: 
    1. We need to build a broader understanding of what career development is. 
    2. We need to make sure career professionals are equipped with the information Canadians need most.  
    Regarding point 1, my job as an advocate has been to educate funders and policymakers about the work you do; its importance in preparing clients for work while meeting Canada's growing labour market needs. Clearly, as the LMIC/FSC report shows, ASPECT still has more work to do in promoting career services.
    Regarding point 2, over the years I have heard from members about the need to access local labour market information. Although there are great resources such as LMIC’s Online Job Posting dashboard, the BC Government’s WorkBC site, and the BC Labour Market Report, much of the community-focused research is still being done by our members. It requires collaboration and relationship-building with employers, economic development organizations, and others to meet community needs.
    The LMIC/FSC report also suggests expanding Career Development Practitioner training to align with the new CDP Competency Framework, a framework that ASPECT is proud to have had a part in developing. While I will continue building awareness, help is needed from you to develop training opportunities that align with the competency framework. We currently have a call-out for presenters (see below). 
    I see the LMIC/FSC report and its recommendations as a call to action and will continue to work toward ASPECT answering that call.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • January 07, 2022 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy New Year and welcome back to those of us who were able to take a break. 

    Thank you to everyone who participated in our member survey at the end of December and congratulation to Sarah Holloway for winning the draw for a $25 gift card. The results of our member survey help us at ASPECT to see where we are meeting the needs of our members and where we might have work to do.

    This year we had the highest response rate in history. That tells me that we have been successful in engaging members in the work we do but the results are not all sunshine and roses.

    Why Belong to ASPECT?

    When asked to provide their top 3 reasons why they belong to ASPECT, 61% said for the ASPECT conference with "advice on advocacy issues" and "opportunities to liaise with funding partners" tied for second place at 48%. Fourth place was our member meetings coming in at 41%.

    Communications Followed

    When asked which of the ASPECT communications they follow, almost 96% said the Aspectives newsletter. It is, for this reason, that we have tried to make it a priority to fill it with the latest news delivered as close to weekly as possible. In 2021, we published 46 editions of Aspectives and 47 in 2020. Five years ago, we published only 13 editions. 

    Member Satisfaction

    The final piece of data that I use to identify gaps in our work and our ability to meet the needs of our members is the satisfaction data. Although I am delighted with the overall results, it is clear that we have some work to do. When asked to rate their overall satisfaction with ASPECT, almost 84% of the respondents were either "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied." Clearly with almost 14% answering "neutral" we have some work to do.

    Thank you again to all who participated in the survey. Your voices have been heard and we will act on your suggestions and feedback. A member organization such as ASPECT cannot always be everything to all people but we will always strive to be better. If your organization is not a member of ASPECT, please consider joining us to support the work we do.

    Janet Morris-Reade

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