Launching today, the Single Parent Employment Initiative will remove barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance by providing them with the supports they need to secure long-term and sustainable employment.
Under the program, more than 16,000 single parents on income and disability assistance will have access to a range of supports through WorkBC Employment Services Centres that will help break down the barriers they often face when trying to find a full-time job.
Single parents may also be eligible for:
- Up to 12 months of funded training for an in-demand job, or a paid work experience placement. Single parents will also be able to remain on income assistance if they attend a training program.
- Child care costs during training or work placement and for the first year of employment.
- Public transit costs to and from school.
- Exemptions for bursaries, scholarships and grants that are required for the program of study have also been extended to single parents in approved training programs.
- A full-suite of WorkBC Employment Services Centre services such as workshops on resume writing and interview preparation.
The Single Parent Employment Initiative supports B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which is re-engineering the Province’s education and training systems to ensure students have a full range of training options.
As well, through recent changes to the province’s income assistance program, all families on income assistance and disability are eligible for:
- Increased earnings exemption; from $200 to $400 per month, or $300 to $500 per month for individuals with a child with disabilities; and
- Supplemental health coverage for a full year after they leave income assistance for employment (dental, optical and premium-free Ministry of Health MSP and PharmaCare).
- Currently, there are 16,000 single parent families with approximately 26,000 children that are on income and disability assistance in B.C.
- Single parents on income assistance and their families represent 44% of all recipients, not including those on disability insurance.
- On average, 90% of single parents on income and disability assistance are female.
- Children who grow up in a family on income assistance are at greater risk of living in low income themselves. Research suggests they may be three or more times more likely to become dependent on income assistance as an adult compared to children with no or limited exposure to income assistance.
- B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint was launched in April 2014 and outlines how the Province is re-engineering the education system – from kindergarten through to post-secondary training and beyond – to make sure education and training aligns with B.C. jobs.
- By 2022, there will be one million job openings in B.C. – more than 78% of jobs will require some form of post-secondary education, and 44% of jobs will be in skilled trades and technical occupations.
Single Parent Employment Initiative: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/programs/spei.html
To find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: https://www.workbc.ca/WorkBC-Centres.aspx