Vancouver Island Vocational and Rehabilitation Services (VIVRS) is a dynamic, growing agency that has been providing individualized employment and life skills services to clients on Vancouver Island since 1992.

Our professional approach, creative and energetic staff, and dedication to exceptional service have been recognized through ongoing contracts with Federal and Provincial Governments, Crown Corporations, private insurance companies and other organizations.

VIVRS provides services throughout Vancouver Island with staff in Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville and Courtenay. Our staff offer all necessary academic qualifications, an extensive variety of work experience, and membership in professional associations such as the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada, the BC College of Social Workers, and the Canadian Career Development Association.


VIVRS offers a variety of services however, Customized Employment (CE) is our most intensive, personalized and flexible approach to job search. CE is used to support individuals with extreme or multiple barriers to employment. There are two components, Discovery and Job Placement.

Discovery is a community based assessment that allows the Employment Specialist to understand the client’s skills, abilities and passions; it takes place out in the community during diverse activities that enable the Specialist to observe transferrable skills and provides the opportunity to the client to try new things.

During the Placement phase, the Specialist works on carving a job that matches the right employer with the specific needs of the individual. Once the appropriate job has been negotiated, natural supports are put in place and continued support is provided to the individual and the employer by the VIVRS Employment Specialist.

For more information on CE, you can listen to the Customized Employment – Mini Symposium Webinar presented by VIVRS and hosted by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence.

Our knowledge of the communities in which we work and our solid relationships with employers and community service providers give our clients a head start in their efforts to enhance their self worth and contribute to society.

What Do We Do?

VIVRS has a proven track record in providing:
  • Employment and vocational counselling
  • Connection and support for community employers
  • Case management
  • Assessment
  • Liaison with medical specialists
  • Development of employment and training plans
  • Customized employment for persons with disabilities
  • Resumé development
  • Job search assistance
  • Personal counselling for survivors of trauma and abuse
  • Life skills coaching
  • Application for training and educational funding
  • Developing cost-sharing agreements between funders
  • Ongoing coaching to support employment success

For our clients, we focus on exploration of your goals to prepare you for employment, training, volunteering and improved quality of life. We provide ongoing support that is tailored to your specific needs. For more information:

For employers, we focus on supporting you as you search for, train, and hire the workers you need. We provide you with skilled, motivated workers for short or long term opportunities ranging from volunteer work placements to paid employment. VIVRS carries its own liability and WCB insurance, which allows you to train our clients in a risk-free environment.

How Successful Are We?

On Vancouver Island, hundreds of employers have collaborated with us to build their businesses by hosting and hiring our clients. Employers comment on the skill and enthusiasm our clients bring to the workplace as well as the professional support available from VIVRS’ staff. VIVRS clients not only contribute to the productivity of companies where they work, but also to the community reputation and morale within these businesses.

VIVRS has been successful in placing over 70% of our clients in employment situations, including clients living with physical, mental, developmental, emotional and neurological disabilities.

Our clients report an increase in confidence and self-esteem, and a feeling that they can make a genuine contribution. In ratings completed regularly by an independent third party, over 90% of clients found the services provided by VIVRS to be good or excellent. No clients rated the service as poor.

For over 20 years, VIVRS has grown from one dedicated professional serving the Nanaimo Regional District to a team of twenty-four providing services throughout Vancouver Island.