The Government of B.C. is announcing a significant change to the income and disability assistance program that will help single parents secure a meaningful job by allowing them to stay on assistance for up to 12 months while they train for their new job.
Government’s $24.5-million investment over five years helps ensure all British Columbians have an opportunity to benefit from B.C.’s strong and growing economy and transition into the workforce with skills and training that align with today’s labour market demands.
“Single parents on income assistance who are ready to find employment often face obstacles that most of us don’t experience: Paying for day care before your first paycheck arrives, buying supplies or a bus pass, even registration costs for school.” Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation.
This major program change recognizes how challenging it can be as a single parent, especially when transitioning into the workforce. Under the new Single Parent Employment Initiative, more than 16,000 single parents on income and disability assistance will also have access to a range of supports that will help break down the barriers they often face when trying to find a full-time job, including:
• Tuition and education costs for approved training programs that last up to 12 months for in-demand jobs.
• Transportation costs to and from school.
• Full child-care costs during training.
Upon completion of their training, single parents who are eligible for a child-care subsidy will continue to have their full child-care costs covered for one year after they leave school and enter the workforce. They will also retain their health supplement coverage for a year after they leave income assistance. The Single Parent Employment Initiative, will launch in September 2015.