PICKERING, ON, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is helping Canadians with disabilities gain the skills and experience they need to find jobs. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for York–Simcoe, and Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament for Pickering–Scarborough East, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development.
The Youth Education Arts and Health (YEAH) Foundation is receiving over $334,000 from the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities for its project to help 30 people with disabilities in Durham Region overcome barriers to employment.
Project participants will benefit from group workshops and one-on-one training to learn or improve employment skills, such as time management and effective communication. They will also gain work experience with local employers in areas such as food services, office administration and retail.
Since 2006, the Opportunities Fund has helped 40,000 people with disabilities across Canada. This is part of the Government of Canada's overall strategy to equip all Canadians with the skills and training they need to connect with available jobs.
Today's announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadians. To help hard-working families, the Government is also enhancing the Universal Child Care Benefit, introducing the Family Tax Cut and making improvements to the Child Care Expense Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- To provide more demand-driven training solutions for people with disabilities, the Government's Economic Action Plan is increasing funding to $40 million annually to the Opportunities Fund. Employers and community organizations will be involved in designing and delivering training projects.
- The Government provides $222 million annually to the provinces and territories through Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities to help Canadians with disabilities develop skills to improve their job prospects.
- Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government is providing $15 million over three years to the Canadian Association for Community Living to help connect people with developmental disabilities with jobs. It is also providing $11.4 million over four years to the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada to expand vocational training programs for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) would increase to up to $1,920 per year for children under the age of 6 and parents would receive a benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged 6 through 17.
"Our Government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity for everyone. Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers, but they remain under-represented in our workforce. We must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development
"Through projects like this one, our Government is helping people with disabilities, including many here in Durham Region, get the skills needed to obtain jobs, while also enabling employers to benefit from their skills and talents."
– The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for York–Simcoe
"Canadians with disabilities deserve every opportunity to participate in the job market, and that's why partnerships with organizations like the YEAH Foundation are so important. Through this project, people with disabilities, including youth, in Durham Region will gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce."
– Corneliu Chisu, Member of Parliament for Pickering–Scarborough East
"The YEAH Foundation trains youth and adults in employability life skills, which prepare them for the work place. It also provides wage subsidies to employers to allow them to mentor and provide practical work experience to our clients. To date, 158 youth have received life skills training and job placements, with 65 percent becoming employed and 10 percent returning to school. With this funding, we now can provide an extension of service to our adult clients."
– Pauline Bennett, President, The YEAH Foundation
Funding: Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
Economic Action Plan 2013: Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
Helping Families Prosper
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment, or become self-employed, to help them participate fully in the workforce and increase their independence.
Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a $10-million increase in funding for the Opportunities Fund, to $40 million annually, starting in 2015–16. Recently announced reforms will place a greater emphasis on hands-on experience, including work experience for more youth with disabilities, and ensure employers and community organizations are involved in the design and delivery of projects.
To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government has:
- extended the Enabling Accessibility Fund on an ongoing basis at $15 million per year to improve accessibility in facilities across Canada, including workplaces; and
- provided funding of $7 million per year for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, some of which will support research related to the labour market participation of people with disabilities.
Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups, including people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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