You asked us: Employment
Welcome to CLBC’s first “You asked us” column where CLBC staff answer your questions about CLBC supports and services.
This month, Barb Penner, Employment Initiative Coordinator, answers your questions about employment. Barb leads CLBC’s Employment Initiative, which builds partnerships and strategies with groups, organizations and employers across the province to increase employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
1. How will CLBC help me find a job?
A CLBC facilitator will work with you to find the best employment supports for you. This might include finding employment supports, learning about employment services outside of CLBC, or recording your request on CLBC’s request for service registry.
CLBC funds service providers in community that have experience in the area of employment. Employment specialists, employment councillors, job developers or job coaches are some of the kinds of supports you might choose. Employment professionals will work with you to make an employment plan that talks about the skills that you have, the best kind of workplace for you and what supports you will need.
Employment professionals might help you apply for jobs or work with you to figure out how to create a job that use your work skills. They can also help with interview skills, what to do at the start of a new job, and helping co-workers understand how to support you at work. The employment specialist will always be available for you to call if you need them.
2. What training is available? CLBC service providers can provide support for training like Food Safe, WHMIS and First Aid. Sometimes this can be paid for through other government programs.
The Employment Program for People with Disabilities (EPPD) through the Ministry of Social Development also provides training. If you are interested in applying, talk to your CLBC facilitator.
3. Will I get to keep my paid bus pass when I have a job?
As long as you still receive disability assistance, you will continue to qualify for a yearly bus pass.
4. Does it matter if I don’t have any job experience?
Employment service providers help many people that do not have any job experience find work. You might have lots of skills and don’t even know it!
The employment specialist will work with you to figure out what you can do now, the things that you like to do, and how these can turn into a job for you. The most important thing for anyone looking for work is that they want to work and have a positive attitude.
5. Will I get the same wages as other people doing the same job?
Yes. You will be paid the same starting wage as anyone else. The BC Employment Standards Act says that all work must be paid at minimum wage or better unless the person is being paid a training wage. This is the same for all citizens of BC. The only exception will be if you choose to participate in work experience.
6. How much can I earn before it affects my PWD/disability assistance? Do I have to report all my income?
You can earn up to $500.00 before your disability assistance is reduced. It is the law that you report all of your earnings.
7. If they take money off my PWD, why should I work?
Many people who work and make more than the $500.00 earnings exemption tell us that even though it was hard to make the choice to work, they are glad they did it.
People who have made this choice say they live a more independent life. They also learn new skills, meet new friends and feel good about making a difference in their workplace.