Work Environment: One Province One Team
Employment & Assistance Workers (EAWs) work in an office setting within a virtual environment. This means EAWs may be assigned to work in a contact centre where they work with clients over the phone and may not interact directly with clients in the same community. They may be working with a client who lives in a different city in B.C., while other EAWs will work directly with clients, face to face. EAWs are part of a virtual team where interaction with each other may be via technology and/or in person. This model provides greater access to services for citizens across the province and expands the definition of "team" to include people working in various locations.
Core business hours are typically 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday. However, some office locations are closed over lunch, have specific times where they are closed to public, or offer later hours of work such as 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Every Day is Different
Working in a high-volume, high-energy environment, you'll rely on the team, your experience and your training to quickly meet the needs of people with unique and often complex problems.
Helping People in Crisis
As an Employment & Assistance Worker (EAW), you must function—and thrive—in fast-paced settings that demand a special balance of patience and quick thinking. EAWs are incredibly flexible and understand that their jobs will evolve with the organization; they're prepared to do whatever it takes to get the service to our clients. On a given day, you'll assist a number of clients, meeting with them on the phone or in person, listening to their stories and assessing their needs, then connecting them with resources while simultaneously processing documents and using the computer. Often, you'll be one of the first responders to people in a real life crisis—people who are already facing problems with addiction, homelessness or mental health issues. The EAW position has various roles within the clientele they serve and must be able to differentiate legislation, policies and procedures with these various groups.
There are more than 700 EAWs in B.C., working in a wide variety of settings. The EAW position is versatile and provides an opportunity to develop project management skills and learn a variety of virtual tools that can facilitate a career path in the public service.
The atmosphere in all of our offices—both in person and virtual—is close-knit and team oriented. The intensity and unpredictability of this work means that you'll learn quickly to rely on your colleagues (just as they will rely on you) to find effective solutions. Collaboration, both with teammates and with people from other ministries, is critical. Though the environment can be hectic or even stressful, ensuring all clients and co-workers are treated with respect and fairness is something we all make a priority.
Qualities of an Employment & Assistance Worker
- Great listeners who enjoy talking to people from all walks of life
- Resourceful and knowledgeable of legislation and provincial support networks
- Aware of the need to look beyond the surface of things
- Helpful in giving assistance, and willing to ask for help in return
- Open to collaborating with co-workers and staff across ministries
- Adaptable to changes in workloads, policies and procedures
- Fair, objective and respectful in their dealings with clients
- Friendly and supportive of people in their team
- Able to make quick, accurate decisions
- Comfortable with technology and able to use multiple computer systems simultaneously
- Able to listen, articulate clearly, and type effectively when assisting clients