This time to WorkBC head office: (probably a bit of biting the hand that tries to feed me but at this point, uh well):
So I’m sitting in my local WorkBC office, using the computer, searching for work. I am an ESL teacher and that field is undergoing so many changes that there is very very little work left. My WorkBC employment counsellor (who I have seen just twice, as she is replacing another counsellor who replaced another one and on and on) has basically told me that there is nothing else WorkBC can do for me because I don’t know what I can re-train in. She never sees anyone in this position, she has told me. I find this shocking because there are many unemployed ESL teachers in this city.
So I am left with using the computers. Uh well.
While I’m here, a woman who is in fact ESL, requests some help from the resource room helper (not sure of that official title). Alas, sorry, he is going for lunch. Another employment counsellor comes out and spends two minutes with the woman but the woman, obviously in need of more help and not familiar with how to apply for a job or where to apply for a job in Vancouver, in Canada, requests more help.
“I’m not usually out here,” says the counsellor, who does give her five minutes of her time and then talks to the still confused woman as she has given up and is ready to leave. The woman returns to the computer.
I understand that there have been so many cutbacks and that WorkBC counsellors can only do so much, which is now so little really. So many clients, so little time to help (or help at all in my case, although I did appreciate the $1,700 outsourced assessment which led to well, nothing I didn’t all ready know).
Here’s the thing: I can help this woman who is an immigrant and who needs more time and more help than the five to seven minutes the employment counsellor who is ‘not usually out here (in the resource room)’can do.
I can help because I have taught ESL for 15 years, because I have worked with immigrants, and I have navigated the difficult waters of job search myself. Hire me! On a contract basis, on a permanent basis or on a part-time basis, whatever works. I guarantee you that I will be able to help immigrants who come to the office as it is in their area but there is no one who can really help them here or so it seems. I can do way more than the counsellor is doing right now beside me, which is to simply to keep informing the woman that no, the woman is searching for something in New York State, not Vancouver.
I realize that WorkBC no longer offers such ‘specialized’ help but if I, just sitting here beside this situation, know how to help this woman perhaps more efficiently than the employment counsellor, there is obviously a need.