Government of Canada helps Canadians with disabilities get jobs

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Mike Lake, Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Mill Woods–Beaumont, on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, highlighted the Government of Canada's contribution to the creation of Canadian Business SenseAbility and participated in the organization's launch today, in Toronto.

There are close to 800,000 unemployed people with disabilities who can and are willing to work and, there are number of employers looking to fill available positions. SenseAbility is a national, non-profit organization run by business, for business, to accelerate private sector success in the hiring and retention of Canadians with disabilities through education, training and sharing of resources and best practices.

To help support SenseAbility, the Government of Canada, through Economic Action Plan 2013, is providing $2 million in funding over four years.

The creation of SenseAbility provides an excellent example of how the Government of Canada and the private sector can partner to support the hiring of under-represented individuals in the labour market.

Quick Facts

  • Economic Action Plan 2013 extended the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces.
  • Economic Action Plan 2013 announced an increase in funding to $40 million annually starting in 2015-2016 for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to provide more training related to in-demand jobs for Canadians with disabilities.
  • Economic Action Plan 2014 announced a $15 million investment to expand the Ready, Willing & Able initiative.
  • Economic Action Plan 2014 announced $11 million for the Community Works initiative led by Sinneave Family Foundation to support the expansion of vocational training programs for Canadians with autism.
  • The Government of Canada also introduced a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities to better connect Canadians with disabilities with available jobs.

Quotes

"To support Canada's long-term prosperity, Canadian employers must tap into all available talent. The Government of Canada is proud to contribute to the creation of Canadian Business SenseAbility to help ensure that Canadians of all abilities have the opportunity to connect with available jobs."
Mike Lake, Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Mill Woods–Beaumont

"There is a strong business case for hiring people with disabilities. It's good for business in terms of higher employee retention, lower absenteeism, improved safety, innovation and revenue growth."
Kathy Martin, Chair, Canadian Business SenseAbility

Associated Links

SenseAbility.ca
Canada's Economic Action Plan
Employment and Social Development Canada

Backgrounder

Canadian Business SenseAbility (SenseAbility) is a national, not-for-profit organization run by business for business. It was established in 2014 as an outcome of the 2012 Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The Panel report, Rethinking DisAbility in the Private Sector, found that there is a strong business case for hiring people with disabilities, and documented that employers were willing to make efforts to do this but they required education and training on disability issues and accommodations to succeed. The Panel's report is key to the establishment of SenseAbility.

SenseAbility will be managed by employers, for employers, to facilitate education, training and sharing of resources and best practices concerning the hiring and retention of persons with disabilities. It will involve large and small employers from every part of the country.  It is not an employment agency.

SenseAbility will be supported through corporate membership, with start-up funding from the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada is providing $500,000 of funding in each of the first four years of the operation of the organization (2013–14 to 2016–17), at which time it is expected to become self-sustaining through membership fees and other activities. 

The principal goals of the organization are to:

  • communicate the business case for hiring and retaining persons with disabilities;
  • provide practical resources, such as training and toolkits;
  • establish business‑to‑business mentoring and consulting relationships; and
  • provide a framework and a forum for leader-to-leader partnerships.

 

SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Contacts : Alexandra Fortier, Office of Minister Kenney, 819-994-2482; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca Follow us on Twitter


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