This report highlights and explains the recruitment and retention challenges facing BC’s community social services sector. It discusses those issues and presents solutions that involve all of the various stakeholders within the sector—the community social services organizations themselves, government funders, post-secondary institutions, unions, as well as foundations and other funding bodies.
It identifies recruitment and retention trends, examines barriers and differences related to geography, age, gender, culture, and immigration status, and explores the effectiveness of education and training programs as well as employer-based training.
We hoped and expected that this project would lead to (1) an increased understanding of BC’s social services sector and its labour market challenges and (2) to a comprehensive strategy encouraging people to choose community social services as a a career. This report was the first step in that process.
There are still some questions that require answers. How do we address the particular challenges of recruitment and retention in northern, rural and remote communities? How do we address pressing wage concerns and disparities? How can we help organizations ease their administrative burdens so that they can focus more on training, supervision, and service delivery?
The next phase of this work will involve answering those questions and the report contains a number of recommendations about what the next steps should look like (some of which are already underway).