Future Skills Centre Launches Six Innovation Projects and Call for Proposals

FSC Call for Proposals

Funding / Midlife Career Change
The working lives of many Canadians will be changed as existing jobs are displaced and new jobs are created with different skills demands. The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Competences futures (FSC-CCF) is announcing six projects to test innovative approaches for helping diverse Canadians gain the skills they need to adapt and succeed in the workforce. An estimated 5,000 Canadians from coast to coast to coast will engage with these projects to test solutions to skills development challenges. Working with Indigenous and Northern communities, newcomers to Canada, and young job-seekers, these projects are experimenting with innovative and inclusive approaches to digital skills training, competency assessment models, career pathways, and employability skills development.
The Centre also confirmed they will launch a call for proposals to develop, test, and measure innovative approaches to supporting mid-career workers who have been displaced by changes in the labour market, are at risk of being replaced, or who will face new job requirements in the future. This theme was identified to address gaps in skills training for mid-career workers. With a total budget of $4M over the next two years, selected projects from this call will generate actionable evidence about how to better meet the needs of mid-career workers facing challenges in the labour market.
“We’re very excited to announce the Future Skills Centre’s inaugural, community-based innovation projects and a call for proposals,” said Melanie Wright, Interim Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre. “We’re hitting the ground running only six weeks after our official launch, investing in skills development research which will involve thousands of Canadians.”
“On behalf of our partners and Interim Advisory Board, we are thrilled to be launching these innovation projects and call for proposals, which will engage thousands of workers in gaining access to new skills, and will contribute to a growing evidence base on the skills needed to thrive in the new economy,” said Steven N. Liss, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Ryerson University and Acting Chair of the FSC-CCF Interim Advisory Board.
“The world of work is changing and Canadians need to be equipped to seize the opportunities this presents. Future Skills is part of the Government’s plan to build an agile workforce that can help Canadians find and keep good, well-paying jobs, and strengthen the middle class, so that everyone has a fair chance at success. These six projects are an important step toward achieving this vision,” says the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
Visit the Future Skills Centre website for the full details about the call for proposals, including application guidelines and information.
The Centre will be launching a broader open call for proposals in late spring 2019

Conference provides an excellent opportunity to network and promote programs

BCCDA Image

Career Development / Professional Development
To accommodate the enormous logistical challenge of introducing new WorkBC programming, this year’s Career Development Conference has been scheduled in May to allow attendees to take a short breath before the largest and longest running conference of its kind in Western Canada starts in Vancouver.
Every year, the CDC brings together hundreds of delegates consisting of Career Practitioners, Human Resources Professionals, Education Providers, Settlement Professionals, Community Service Agencies and other professionals interested in a career development sector. This year’s conference is going to take place at SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver on May 23rd and 24th.
While most of the registration for the conference has sold-out, organizers still have space for additional exhibitors and sponsors. As our labour market gets tighter, being a sponsor or exhibitor provides an ideal opportunity to reach hundreds of career professionals, advising thousands of job seekers, students and those in career transition.
If you are interested in utilizing this well-established and respected platform to showcase the work of your agency, please contact the BCCDA office at admin@bccda.org. Their coordinator, Sweety Rajpal, will be available to assist you. You can also sign up directly online.
When it comes to the program of the upcoming conference, we are very excited to welcome Roxanne Reeves, PhD. as CDC 2019opening keynote speaker. Roxanne will speak about learning disabilities. Although they may not be visible to others, learning disabilities can be terrifying and truly paralyzing to those suffering from them.
Roxanne will speak from her own experience. She also suffers from a range of learning disabilities and there was a time when she thought of herself as not worthy and incapable. However, thanks to the power of mentorship, she learned to believe in herself and despite the odds, became a renowned academic. She will arrive in Vancouver from New Brunswick to inspire you and show you the transformative power we may have on someone’s life as career developers by supporting them and believing in their abilities despite their self-perceived limitations.
Our closing keynote, presented by talented and highly esteemed Dr. Jeanette Robertson, EdD, MSW, RSW, will provide an understanding of how individuals experience disadvantage in unique ways based on the intersection of disability and other aspects of social location and identity, such as gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and age.
Jeanette will explore how people whom we serve as career developers may experience disadvantage in unique ways based on the intersection of disability and other aspects of identity.
Besides information presented during our keynote speeches, the BCCDA board has selected 20 workshops on variety of relevant topics, including self-care for career practitioners, working with clients challenged by mental health issues, maternity leave and its effect on career, gender transitioning while in the office, integration of newcomers to Canada, and much more.

More than 9 in 10 Companies in Canada Offer Employees Financial Support for Certifications

Investing in Credentials

Employment Benefits / Skills Development

Workers today can expand their professional skills with less financial stress thanks to a majority of employers in Canada offering to cover or offset educational costs, research suggests. In a new survey from global recruitment firm Robert Half Finance & Accounting, most CFOs in Canada (92 per cent) said their companies foot the bill for some or all costs for staff to obtain professional certifications. Ninety-three per cent provide full or partial support to maintain credentials.
Executives reported bottom-line benefits from this incentive, with increased productivity (40 per cent) and enhanced retention efforts (30 per cent) topping the list. CFOs also said providing financial assistance for employees’ professional development brings in additional revenue, contributes to succession planning and enhances information-sharing among colleagues.
“Many employers provide support for continuing education because they recognize how essential employees with up-to-date skills and industry knowledge are to the success of their business,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “Companies should make an effort to promote learning opportunities to their teams and in the hiring process. For top professionals, skill development is key to career advancement, and they are drawn to organizations that prioritize employee growth and invest in their ongoing education.”
“For workers, an active interest in professional development can help them stand out as adaptable and open to new challenges and responsibilities,” added Scileppi. “When requesting learning support from your manager come prepared to show how the additional expertise will have a positive impact on your role, career and the organization overall.”

New Builders Code intended to make construction safer and increase the participation of women

BC Builders Code

Construction / Regulations
The Province of B.C. and the BC Construction Association (BCCA) marked International Women’s Day recently with the launch of the Builders Code, a comprehensive program that aims to address B.C.’s skilled labour shortage by reducing harassment, bullying and hazing on construction worksites. The Builders Codedefines an Acceptable Worksite and provides employers with tools, training and resources to improve and promote safe and productive worksite behaviour.
Led by the BCCA, in collaboration with the Province and industry partners, including the Industry Training Authority, WorkSafeBC, LNG Canada, BC Construction Safety Alliance, Employee Benefits Trust, Minerva Foundation of B.C. and four Regional Construction Associations (NRCA, SICA, VICA, VRCA), the Builders Code includes an ambitious ì10×10î goal to have B.C.’s skilled workforce comprised of 10 per cent tradeswomen by 2028, a standard not yet achieved by any province in Canada.
The Builders Code expands the definition of construction safety beyond physical hazards to include stress or distraction caused by discrimination, bullying, hazing or harassment. A Builders Codeworksite will seek to be free from behaviour that threatens the stability of work conditions including job performance, health, well-being, safety, productivity and the efficiency of workers.
At its core, the Builders Code seeks to improve the retention of tradeswomen who are working in B.C.’s construction sector. Project partners quickly recognized that to be successful, the Builders Code could not single out tradeswomen for special consideration. Every person working on a worksite is affected by stress and distraction caused by bullying, hazing and harassment.
The Builders Code will be a valuable opportunity and asset for contractors looking for competitive ways to attract and retain skilled tradespeople at a time when B.C. faces a skills shortage of 7,900 workers, and when tradeswomen comprise only 4.7 per cent of the skilled workforce. Although women, youth, and other equity-seeking groups are entering construction trades at a higher rate than in the past, retention rates remain low. First year retention rates for women apprentices have anecdotally been estimated at less than 50 per cent. By comparison, first year retention rates for men are estimated at 70 per cent. Those contractors who lead the way in culture change will have distinct advantages.
The Builders Code pilot will highlight the business and safety implications of worksite behaviour and provide employers with the tools they need to improve retention. Employers can access no-cost posters and policies, training, and advice from experts with experience in human resources management, including mediation and conflict resolution. Contractors who lead the way will benefit from higher employee retention rates resulting in lower training costs and will gain a reputation for fair and equal treatment that will help them recruit skilled workers and market their business. They’ll also have the opportunity to be recognized via a scorecard and an awards program created specifically for the construction industry by the Minerva Foundation of B.C..
Reaching the 10 per cent goal will equate to adding another 9,500 women into the skilled trades in B.C.’s Construction industry. That achievement would be especially significant as it would effectively erase B.C.’s projected skills gap of 7,900 workers.
Throughout 2019, the Builders Code partners will continue to make equity and diversity a corporate leadership priority for construction employers, rolling out expanded resources and services in every region of the province.
The Builders Code is an initiative of the Construction Workforce Equity Project, funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training through the Sector Labour Market Partnership Program.
For more information about the Builders Code, please visit: www.builderscode.ca

Government of Canada invites proposals for projects to help newcomers enter the job market faster

Call for Concepts both Newsletters

Government / Immigrant Employment
Recently, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, launched a Call for Concepts under the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program. The total funding for this Call for Concepts is up to $10 million, which will fund approximately 15 projects to help newcomers find work.
The Government is seeking innovative and collaborative concepts from stakeholders that address specific barriers to the integration of highly skilled newcomers into the Canadian labour market. Helping people, including internationally trained newcomers, find and keep good, well-paying jobs, is part of the Liberal government’s plan to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.
Quick Facts
  • The FCR Loans project delivers up to $15,000 to eligible recipients to cover costs of getting their credentials recognized and provides direct employment supports.
  • The Innovation and Skilled Newcomer Employment Call for Concepts addresses the third component of the Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers-assistance to acquire first Canadian work experience in their profession or in a field related to their profession.
  • Recent immigrants have a lower employment rate (62.2%) than non-immigrants (71.7%) according to the 2016 Census.
  • Visible minority newcomer women are more likely to be unemployed. The unemployment rate of visible minority newcomer women (9.7%) is higher than that of visible minority (8.5%) and non-visible minority (6.4%) newcomer men, based on the 2016 Census.

Assisting overqualified job candidates in managing expectations and excelling in their career

Overqualified

Career Development / Career Planning
A recent article in Workopolis provided a unique insight into the challenges and opportunities that lie in being overqualified for the job you’re already in. It’s pretty safe to say that everyone has an interest in being good at their job. Typically, the better you are, the higher the demand you bring in the market, and therefore come at a premium. Having things work out this way is an ideal situation of course, but many factors can land someone in a job where they are overqualified.
It could be due to the industry shrinking, a crowded and competitive job market, outsourcing, or a host of other factors. This is pretty common in recent years, most notably with those being young in their careers. At that point, they can find themselves being passed over for that dream job because they lack real-world experience and wind up taking a junior position instead.
The situation of being overqualified can be frustrating, to say the least. One has to work through many factors that come along with not being employed to your full potential. Let’s take a look at some signs of over-qualification, the problems that come with them, and how to work through it.
There is a saying ‘You have to do the job you want first in order to get it.’ The sentiment is that you have to show that you are capable of doing the job you want before you will be promoted. If you are overqualified, you may already be regularly doing this.
Do you find yourself constantly doing work above your pay-grade? Is your boss always asking how you would handle situations? If senior management is looking to you to help them with their work, you might be overqualified.
Not only are you providing counsel to management, but you might be asked to train your fellow workers too. If you are underemployed, you can find yourself constantly being asked to present at the team building meetings or on conference calls. Unless your job is literally a training manager, this is extra work on top of your job duties.
Generally, having to consistently perform duties that are above and beyond the industry standards is a good sign that you are working below your potential. While it is always a good idea to go the extra mile for the promotion, feeling like you are underpaid for your efforts can make anyone dislike their job.
Working as an overqualified person is a tough place to be. You’re either going to be doing more work than you have to or you will feel as though you are not living up to your potential. You want to show you can do the job and get that promotion, but the company likes the fact that you do a good job at it, and they don’t have to pay you as much. Depending on the type of boss and company ethics, you might be on the right path or you might be stuck in this position until you find a new job.
But looking for a job as an underemployed candidate can have challenges of its own. Depending on your job history, a potential employer might view your current job as a negative. There are, however, some ways to overcome this.
First thing is first. Know what you want. Establishing a career path is a very important step in everyone’s life. Whether you see yourself as climbing the ladder to the top, aiming for middle management or just staying put, knowing what you want to do and where you want to go is the start of success.
Once you figure out how far you want to go, have frequent talks with management about your goals. Open communication will help senior staff will clarify the intentions behind your efforts. In doing so, any extra work by you will be looked at as part of your career plan.
No room to grow inside your current business? Then it’s time to start looking for the right job. If there is no immediate pressure to leave your job, other than being underemployed, you have the luxury of taking the time to find the right one. Having your career goals decided will help potential employers understand your motivation to find the right job during the interview process.
Now the last question is, how much does being overqualified mean to you? Perhaps you found a tradeoff that has great rewards. Maybe it is the extra time at home, the company culture, or the benefits that make the job rewarding. In that case, you rock that job and enjoy all it has to offer.

Understanding the employment needs of adult children living at home

Boomerang Kids

Demographics / Research
A Statistics Canada report is digging deeper into what kind of adults live with their parents at a time when more are doing so than ever before.
Close to 1.9 million Canadians aged 25 to 64 lived with at least one parent in 2017, more than double the 900,000 recorded 20 years ago, the agency said Friday.
In 1995, Canadians at home made up only five per cent of the adult population aged 25 to 64; now it’s up to nine.
But experts say it would be wrong to view them as the couch potatoes of the popular imagination.
“The image of these lazy twenty-somethings sitting in the basement playing video games is not borne out in the data,” said Nora Spinks, CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family.
While students made up a significant share of adults living with parents, most had paid employment: 74 per cent, only slightly fewer than the 80 per cent of those not living with parents.
They were less likely to have worked full-time permanent jobs in the prior year, though: 72 per cent had worked 41 to 52 weeks, compared to 82 per cent of those living apart from their parents.
Seventy per cent reported being single, meaning they were unmarried and had no common-law partners.
Spinks said financial concerns usually keep adult children at home with their parents because it’s difficult to maintain a household on a single income, even if only one person lives in the home.
She said benefits and job security are scarce for young adults, making living with parents easier, more economical or the only remaining choice.
Close to three-quarters of adults living with parents have never lived apart from their parents, Statistics Canada said.
“This finding held true regardless of age group,” reads the report, adding that 60 per cent of those aged 55 to 64 and living with a parent had always done so.
The reason is usually the result of either a disability or culture, said Spinks.
Twenty-one per cent of people identifying themselves as South Asian – including people of Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan descent – and 19 per cent of people of Chinese descent aged 25 to 64 lived with parents, more than double the nine per cent of the total Canadian population.
Statistics Canada said these groups “may have cultures which value intergenerational living arrangements.”
But it’s unclear whether adult children are returning after leaving the nest, or if parents are moving in with them.
Spinks said the figures released Friday provide demographers and experts a starting point to get more answers.
“We got a lot of (the) what – we don’t have a lot of why,” said Spinks. “Now we try to figure out … what does this mean for policy and programming and communities and households.”