Harper Government helps Canadians with disabilities gain the skills they need for available jobs

BURNABY, BC, Jan. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is helping Canadians with disabilities develop the skills and experience they need to find jobs. The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) today announced that thanks to the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, the Neil Squire Society will help Canadians with disabilities to get the skills they need to get and keep jobs.

The Neil Squire Society's project will provide support to Canadians from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Projects in British Columbia and Saskatchewan will include Aboriginal and rural participants, helping them gain access to more inclusive workplaces.

Through work experience with small and medium-sized businesses, participants will develop the skills needed to enter and participate in the job market. The organization will also raise awareness among employers of the valuable contribution that Canadians with disabilities can make to the workforce and the economy.

Quick Facts

  • Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers but they remain under-represented in the workforce; approximately 800 000 people with disabilities who are capable of working do not have a job.
  • Since 2006, the Opportunities Fund has helped over 34 600 people with disabilities across Canada. The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities helps Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment or become self-employed.
  • Economic Action Plan 2013 is maintaining funding for the Opportunities Fund so the program can provide even more training to Canadians with disabilities for in-demand jobs.
  • Economic Action Plan 2013 introduced additional measures to support Canadians with disabilities, including a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, extending funding to the Enabling Accessibility Fund to improve the physical accessibility of facilities, including workplaces, and research on the labour market participation of Canadians with disabilities.

Quotes

  • "Our government's top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth. To support Canada's long-term prosperity, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity. This initiative helps Canadians with disabilities gain work experience, particularly with small and medium-sized businesses that would benefit from their skills and talents."
    Candice Bergen
    Minister of State (Social Development)

  • "We are excited to have this opportunity provided by the Government of Canada. This funding will help Canadians with disabilities demonstrate their abilities and value, thereby achieving long-term attachment to the workforce."
    Dr. Gary Birch
    Executive Director, Neil Squire Society

Associated Links

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities


SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information:

Andrew McGrath
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Social Development)
819-953-2351
andrew.mcgrath@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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