Career Path for Employment Assistance Workers
A Job That Grows With You
As you broaden your knowledge, experience and understanding of the legislation, your career can grow with you. You can advance into leadership and investigative positions through the competition process.
Career Profile; Employment Assistance Worker
“I started out as an EAW – that’s an employment and assistance worker. And that was about ten years ago. And I got into being an EAW because I was actually interested in becoming a counsellor. And it was a really good way to get one on one experience interviewing people and also I really wanted to find out what I could do to help people who were in need.
“You get to meet literally thousands of people and you get to hear their individual stories. And every single person has something different and unique in their life that can be inspiring and motivating, but can also bring out that compassion in you as well. There was always someone that I could help. And there was always someone that I could at least provide some options to, with community contacts or whatever. There is always the possibility of that option at the end of the day.
“People don’t come to income assistance until they’re at the end of their rope. So, having a really strong team environment is really important. I have actually used those collaborative principles, if you will, that I learned at the front line, from helping each other out and just keeping your spirits up. I still use those principles that I learned then, and I think if I hadn’t had that experience I would not be able to deal with a lot of the time pressures and issues that I’m dealing with today.
“In my future, over the next five years I definitely see my career expanding and moving onward. I’m learning more about other areas, like budgets and things like that, because I always get to dabble in something. And that’s the thing – even back as an EAW, you’re learning about all sorts of issues. So, in my current position, as a manager, I’ve been here for two years, I’ve learned a lot, and I’m aspiring to move along into a director role in the next few years. “
Many Roles in an Exciting Career
We have many roles for Employment and Assistance Workers who want to advance their careers. Here's an inside look at four job profiles that could be suitable for you as you move along your career path.
You've excelled in a hands-on role, and now you're ready to take the next step. Supporting the supervisor, you will assist in planning, implementing and improving services in your community. You'll grow into a position of leadership as you promote public awareness and build the agency partnerships that will provide the best possible community service.
Social services are a vital part of our work in communities. You will ensure we're delivering them in the best possible way. Leading a diverse technical and administrative team, you'll plan, develop and evaluate your program and recommend improvements. You'll partner with other groups and agencies to meet all the needs of your community and to promote public awareness of services offered.
You will keep employment and financial assistance programs fair for everyone. You'll be relied on to conduct compliance reviews, compile and protect evidence, investigate possible fraudulent activity and, when necessary, testify in civil court. Where possible, you'll resolve cases by calculating and recovering debts to the ministry or, for more complex cases, escalate them to a senior investigator (ministry investigator). You'll also verify clients' eligibility for assistance or help them find alternative support.
As an Employment and Assistance Worker and part of the BC Public Service, you will have access to resources for furthering your education and expanding your career horizons:
- An online Learning Centre helps employees throughout the province to develop through e-learning and Live Meeting events. Courses include Difficult Conversations for Front Line Staff and Developing and Leading an Effective Team
- Scholarships, bursaries and B.C. student loan forgiveness are available through the Pacific Leaders program
- The Supervisor Development Certificate Program creates leaders by connecting interested employees with supervisors and directors from multiple ministries
- The Employee Performance and Development Planning process gives all employees career planning support and direction