After just four years in operation, WorkBC Employment Services Centres have helped put more than 77,000 British Columbians back to work.
Launched in April 2012, WorkBC has provided services to over 221,000 people in communities throughout the province. Last year, 52% of those who received one-on-one personalized supports found a job and that number continues to grow.
WorkBC Centres provide a range of services and supports that help unemployed British Columbians prepare for, find and maintain employment. WorkBC Centres offer more than just traditional job search resources – they also provide specialized services and supports to people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, immigrants, youth and survivors of violence or abuse – specialized populations that can often find it difficult to gain a foothold in the job market.
With more than 71% of people who received services and supports having faced barriers to employment, WorkBC Centres are filling a need and demonstrating success.
Frances is a young woman with a developmental disability. She was interested in getting a paying job as a step toward greater independence and approached the WorkBC Centre in Creston to help her achieve her goal.
WorkBC connected Frances with a local restaurant, Gin’s on Canyon, last March when searching for a suitable employment opportunity. With job coaching for Frances and other WorkBC Centre supports in place, Gin’s jumped on board. When Frances started work, Gin’s provided its standard staff training, and the WorkBC Centre job coach provided extra support to help Frances settle into her new role, which has been a success for all involved.
John Lalonde did not want his hearing loss to keep him from pursuing his dream job as a bike mechanic in Revelstoke, so he reached out to his local WorkBC Employment Services Centre for help.
After a quick assessment, the WorkBC Centre helped John craft a plan to help manage his hearing loss and retain his job – and offered financial support to help him get two hearing aids. Now, thanks to his hearing aids and support from the WorkBC Centre team, John is hard at work as a bike mechanic and sales representative.
Sharada is a job seeker with a young family who moved to B.C. from Nepal in 2010. Sharada contacted WorkBC when she needed assistance exploring new career choices.
Sharada has a degree in business studies and some out-of-country experience in administration. After moving to Canada she worked in a food court for one year. She met with a WorkBC case manager who helped her research the job market and complete career assessments. She decided on a one-year training plan for an Early Childhood Education Certificate and received support for tuition, books and transportation from the WorkBC Centre. Sharada was hired immediately by a daycare in Surrey after she successfully completed her certificate, and she continues to work there full time.
The range of supports available through WorkBC Centres is what makes the service work. Individuals are connected with a case manager who will assess their needs and put the right supports in place to help people succeed. This could include help with child care costs, money for public transit, assistive technology and devices or financial support during an apprenticeship or skills training.
The services available can also create opportunities for collaboration on innovative projects like the Baristas Employment Training Program and the Learning Employment and Development Skills program. The Baristas Employment Training Program is a unique partnership between Starbucks, the Pacific Community Resources Society and five Vancouver WorkBC Centres that provides support, guidance and training to at-risk youth, helping to prepare them for employment. The Learning Employment and Development Skills program is offered through YWCA WorkBC Centres in Metro Vancouver and helps youth and survivors of violence build their skills and find new opportunities. The program offers specialized employment services for survivors of violence and/or abuse over a period of up to 12 weeks.
With 84 WorkBC Centres and over 100 satellite offices throughout the province, employment services are available in almost every community for people who are unemployed or those looking for their next job. These centres, as well as the online resources available at WorkBC.ca provide a one-stop-shop for job seekers and employers looking to access employment and labour-market programs and services.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“I want to congratulate each successful job-seeker who has found employment after visiting a WorkBC Centre. We are proud to invest in programs that help people find good jobs, and that help employers find great people. I encourage anyone who is looking for work to visit their local WorkBC Centre and learn more about the resources and programs that are available to help people find training opportunities and good jobs.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training –
“WorkBC employment centres are an important place that B.C. job-seekers go for employment support and information, and the positive results we see today are evidence of their great work in communities throughout the province. I encourage British Columbians who are looking for jobs or considering a career change to visit their local WorkBC office, in order to access the most current labour market information and learn more about skills training as well as the job opportunities available in B.C.”
Frances, successful job-seeker –
“I love working at Gin’s. People there are very kind and respectful towards me. I hope to learn new skills like working with money and being a full waitress, but for now I am very happy and enjoy my days at Gin’s. I thank Gin and WorkBC for this opportunity to work in my community. Being employed, to me, means gaining skills for future jobs and this makes my life more successful. Hard work always pays off in the end!”
John Lalonde –
“The staff at WorkBC blew my expectations out of the water. They provided me with the tools to make myself the person I dreamed of becoming.”
Sharada, successful job-seeker –
“I love my new job. WorkBC helped me a lot to make my career.”
Jarett Rude, Vancouver Downtown Eastside WorkBC Employment Services Centre –
“The one-stop shop model that we have now with WorkBC Centres has been fantastic for our clients. They can come to a WorkBC Centre and there’s no wrong door. No matter where you come from, or what your barriers to employment might be, you can access the services you need. Another exciting thing to see is the phenomenal collaboration that’s developed between WorkBC Centres, community service providers and local employers. We are forming partnerships with employers to create specific, customized programs to help them recruit the people they need.”
- The Employment Program of BC will invest $331 million this year in services and supports for job seekers and employers. This includes funding from the Labour Market Development Agreement between B.C. and Canada, which provides $301 million toward employment supports and services to help unemployed British Columbians prepare and train for jobs.
- Since 2012, more than 67,000 people with a disability have been provided employment service through the EPBC and more than 18,000 have found work.
- Nearly 10,000 youth aged 19 to 24 years, who received personalized supports through their local WorkBC Centre, have found employment since the program began.
- Since April 2012, the government has invested more than $23 million to assess people’s needs and provide disability supports such as assistive technology, training, disability support for apprentices and workplace access to more than 39,000 job seekers with disabilities.
- Last year (2014-15), more than 10,000 apprentices received financial supports to assist with living expenses while completing their classroom apprenticeship training.
- All job seekers are welcome to use WorkBC self-serve resources available online or in the resource area at their local WorkBC Centre.
- Individuals requiring more support can access a case manager who will help them develop an employment action plan and access Employment Program of BC services and supports. Since 2012, over 178,000 people have received one-on-one support with a WorkBC Centre case manager.
- More than $2.7 million has been spent to date to assess technology needs and provide assistive technology to 1,400 job seekers with disabilities.
- To date, 3,182 people have received wage subsidy support. Of those, 247 have also received additional skills training.
To find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: https://www.workbc.ca/WorkBC-Centres.aspx
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
Learn more about resources for people with disabilities: www.workbc.ca/Resources-for/People-with-Disabilities/People-with-Disabilities.aspx
Apprenticeship Financial Supports: www.workbc.ca/Employment-Services/Apprenticeship-Training-Supports.aspx
Read more about John Lalond:https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015SDSI0048-001489
Baristas Employment Training Program partnership: http://www.pcrs.ca/our-services/baristas-employment-training-program/
YWCA WorkBC Learning Employment and Development Skills program for survivors of violence and abuse: http://ywcavan.org/employment-programs-services/employment-programs/leads
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi