Small Business BC launches Canada-BC Job Grant Program to help entrepreneurs access training funds


The Ministry for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training have announced that Small Business BC, the province’s premier resource centre for entrepreneurs, will be a service provider for the Canada-B.C. Job Grant (CJG).

The CJG is a program that assists B.C. employers to invest in employee training and access up to $15,000 per employee per fiscal year.

The grant helps offset the cost of skills training and professional development, providing the budget, training capacity and hiring and retention strategy needed for small business owners and entrepreneurs to reach their goals for growth.

Organizers believe small business is a priority sector crucial to B.C.’s economy and labour market and Small Business BC will help small business owners access the CJG. Small Business BC will have dedicated advisors on-site that can:

  • Help develop a training plan that will suit small business owners’ needs
  • Identify appropriate training opportunities and delivery options
  • Explain the CJG eligibility and requirements
  • Assist in completing an application
  • Guide businesses through the reimbursement process

“Training and skill upgrading is one of the most important strategies small business can use to face emerging business challenges,” said George Hunter, CEO at Small Business BC. “The Canada-BC Jobs Grant program will provide the resources necessary to allow small businesses to strengthen their existing workforce thereby making their individual businesses more competitive and productive and as a result better able to pursue growth.”

Applications are now open for training that starts on or before September 30, 2016.

Employers looking to access funds are encouraged to contact Small Business BC by email at,  call 1-800-675-8596 or visit More details can be found at

Single Parent Employment Initiative Participant Profiles

The initiative helps single parents on income and disability assistance get the supports they need to overcome barriers to employment and build a better future for their families.

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“Single dad builds a future.”

Donald used to take apart televisions as a curious kid…”I wanted to see how they work!” he says. Find out how Donald is using that drive—and the Single Parent Employment Initiative—to build a better life for him and his son.

“Single dad moves from assistance to well-paid work.”

This Father’s Day will be a special one for Donald M.

For the first time in several years, he’ll enjoy the occasion as a single father with a full-time, good paying job in BC’s booming construction industry and a bright future ahead for him and his children, Kaia and Arrow.

Just a few years ago, Don, a self-employed construction tradesman, faced a tough choice.

“For reasons beyond my control, my children Kaia and Arrow were placed in foster care shortly after birth.  After Arrow was born, I was separated from their mother and we divorced after a few months.  Suddenly, I found myself a single father with two children in foster care.”

Donald says he could either leave them in foster care and keep working full time—or go on social assistance and take the legal steps necessary to have them returned.

“I chose the latter, of course,” he says.  “I kept working part-time roofing, landscaping and other pick-up work, but the strain of caring for my children prevented me from gaining full-time employment.  I wanted to be working full time, but the cost of daycare made it too difficult.”

Still, he didn’t like the idea of not working.

“I needed a leg-up to enter the workforce again.”

So he decided to do something about it.  Donald visited the Whalley WorkBC Employment Services Centre to explore different options to gain secure, full-time employment.

His employment counsellor set up Donald with funding for child care so he could focus on his job-search options.

And he told him about the Single Parent Employment Initiative.

“It was perfect for me.”

The program offers up to one year of tuition or paid work placement for single parents receiving income or disability assistance.

It also covers child care and transit costs.

And it continues to cover child care costs for up to one year after a participant finds employment.

“It’s a very positive program-very helpful,” Donald says.

He’s now found full time employment renovating housing complexes for a firm in Surrey, and is making a good wage doing what he loves.

SPEI is covering half of his salary through a wage subsidy—and child care for Kaia and Arrow.

“Without that subsidy, and the child-care funding, I don’t think this would have happened,” Don says. “For people like me who want to work, this program pays off.  It facilitates single parents who want to get back into the work force.”

Donald is one of more than 2,800 people who are already benefitting from the Single Parent Employment Initiative, including nearly 300 single fathers.

“The financial buffer this program offers for motivated parents who want to work will enable them to become productive again in the workforce to the point the help is no longer needed as the parent becomes self-reliant again as I am.”

If you are a single parent receiving assistance and are interested in participating in the initiative, call or visit your local WorkBC Employment Services Centre. If you live in  Powell River, this is Career Link (#103, 4511 Marine Avenue).

FREE! Social Media for Job Search Workshop Fri. June 17 @ 1-4PM


Just a reminder that the AWESOME social media workshop is coming up this Friday.  What will our lucky participants learn you ask?

  • How to avoid negative online presence, and tighten up their social media security.
  • How to build a positive online presence to impress employers.
  • How to develop a better understanding of Social Media and how it can be incorporated into Job Search
  • Create a Linkedin Profile (optional) – and discuss how Linkedin can contribute to job search success
  • Discuss networking and career research using Social Media

This workshop can be taken by clients with limited computer skills.

FREE! But you must REGISTER  at 604.485.7958, in person at Career Link or visit to register online.

Water Cooler Blog June 2016: Social media background checks – are they legal in BC?

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Watercooler Question: Do you have a positive online presence? Yes/ No/ Neither positive nor negative/ I don’t know ::Respond at 

By Melany Hallam

Like many people in today’s job market, I assume that if I apply for a position, I’m going to be checked out on social media as part of an employer’s hiring process. I’ve seen articles online quoting studies which found that up to 93% of employers will look you up on Facebook or do a Google search on you before making a hiring decision. And there are endless blog posts out there listing “8 Social Media Mistakes That Are Sinking Your Job Search” or “The top 3 things employers want to see in your social media profile”.

You know what I’m talking about, right?

But did you know that BC is only one of three Canadian provinces that has privacy laws restricting this type of search by employers and the subsequent use of your personal information? I didn’t know that either until I started doing research for this article. A legal opinion from McMillan LLP even argues that, in fact, social media checks by employers may be decreasing due to an increased awareness of privacy legislation.


There’s a lot of legal jargon and opinion, but it all comes down to three things: (1) consent, (2) reasonable use, and (3) accuracy (or the risk of inaccurate information).

The BC Privacy Commissioner has published some guidelines for employers who take to cyberspace looking for the scoop on you when you apply for a job. In general, employers in BC need to know that ALL information collected about potential employees is subject to privacy laws. (The other jurisdictions with similar privacy laws are Quebec and Alberta, plus federal government employers.)

What does this mean for you as a job applicant?

Consent to use social media information

  • Know that employers should, at the very least, inform you prior to their online search that they’ll be doing a social media check and what the legal authority is for collecting the information.
  • If you give your permission, under privacy laws you are still allowed to withdraw that permission at any time. This means that any information collected can’t be used to make a decision about you.
  • Employers may argue that the information you post online is “publically available”, but this isn’t the same as information that “by law is public”.
  • All job candidates should be subject to the exact same search in order to keep things fair.
  • One exception to the consent requirement is where a potential employer finds information on you that is related to your current or past employment, such as a photo or account of volunteer work you may have done.


Reasonable use, or too much information

  • A social media search may appear to be just one more way of doing a background check, but the parameters are way outside the narrowly-defined criminal record checks and work reference checks that have traditionally been done up to now. In fact, it’s pretty near impossible for a social media search to be limited to information relevant to a hiring decision.
  • Employers will more than likely end up collecting all kinds of information irrelevant to the position for which you’re applying. Your marital status, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs and other aspects of your personal life are not relevant to a job application and should not influence a hiring decision, no matter how inadvertently.
  • Outdated information – such as old photos and blog posts – will be out there forever, but you may have changed significantly in the meantime. Employers may specify a search for a narrow time period, but people post old photos of friends all the time, so they can easily be included in a search by accident.


Inaccurate information

  • It’s possible that there are people with the same name as you on Twitter or Instagram, etc. An employer may end up collecting information on the wrong person.
  • An employer may access a social media account set up by an imposter to discredit you – yikes!
  • What about incorrectly tagged photos? Was that really you at that wild party two years ago?

All of these factors open employers up to potential human rights complaints if social media information is relied upon in a hiring decision. But, without a doubt, many organizations will not be aware of the privacy laws in BC and will go ahead and do a social media search on you anyway.

So by all means clean up your social media accounts before you apply for that dream job (and there is a ton of advice out there on how to do it). If you’re unsure about an old Facebook account or blog that you used to write or things that your friends may still be posting years later, why not just ask a potential employer if they’re planning on doing a search on you and have a frank discussion about it? At the very least it’ll demonstrate your awareness of the need for a professional social media presence now and in the future.

Coastal Postings May 2016

A Look Back at Powell River BC’s job postings in May 2016

Click to view interactive chart
Accommodations 11
Administration/business support 5
Construction 15
Education 4
Finance 3
Food services 36
Health care 27
Information/Culture 3
Manufacturing 3
Other services non-gov’t 12
Professional Services 1
Public Administration 2
Recreation and Sports 4
Retail Trade 30
Social Assistance 11
Transportation 9
 Total # of positions offered in May 2016 176

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