The Single Parent Employment Initiative removes barriers to employment for single parents on income and disability assistance, providing them with the training and supports they need to secure long- term and sustainable employment.
Beginning September 1, 2015, single parents on income or disability assistance became 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 Work BC Employment Centre services such as such as workshops on resume writing and interview preparation.
Through recent changes to the province’s income assistance program, single parents in the program are also be eligible for:
o Increased earnings exemption; from $200 to $400 per month, or $300 to $500 per month for individuals with a child with disabilities; and
o 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.)
- Single parents receiving income or disability assistance are eligible to participate in the Single Parent Employment Initiative.
- Single parents who are exempt from employment obligations under the BC Employment and Assistance Program are eligible to participate. Of the approximately 16,000 single parents who are on income and disability assistance, close to 11,000 are not required to look for employment as they have children under three or they are a person with a disability.
- In order to be eligible for funded training programs, individuals must have been on income or disability assistance for three months.
- If a single parent already has a post-secondary degree but cannot find a job in the field of their training they will work with their WorkBC employment counsellor (call Career Link at 604.485.7958) to determine if there are other jobs available in the community and if there is a skills gap, they will develop an action and training plan to address further training.
- At the end of August, all single parents on income or disability assistance received a letter from the ministry with information on how to access the Single Parent Employment Initiative.
- They can also contact their local WorkBC Employment Services Centre directly to talk with someone about participating in the program. There are 84 WorkBC Centres across the province, along with more than 100 satellite offices.
- Everyone who is eligible for the program will go through an assessment with a WorkBC Case Manager to determine the best path to securing a job.
- The Case Manager will look at aptitude and background as well as the local job market and work with each individual to map out the supports they need to help them move off income assistance and find sustainable employment.
- Supports for child care and transportation costs will be determined through the individualized assessment for each participant.
- Single parents will be asked to apply for child care subsidy through the Ministry of Children and Family Development in order to access child care supports. More information about this process, will be available through the WorkBC Case Manager.
- Single Parent Employment Initiative: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/programs/spei.html
- You can find a WorkBC Centre in your area by entering your address into the interactive map onWorkBC.ca: www.workbc.ca/Work-BC-Centres/Pages/Work-BC-Centres.aspx In Powell River, this is Career Link (www.careerlinkbc.com)
- Apply for child care subsidy: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/subsidy
- B.C.’s top 100 in demand jobs are listed in the Labour Market Outlook:www.workbc.ca/WorkBC/files/5f/5fc26f16-3c0f-4884-ab99-b475ca7448b7.pdf