BURNABY, BC, July 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Alice Wong,
Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of Parliament for Richmond, on
behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social
Development), announced over $1.3 million in funding to the Neil Squire
Society to help Canadians with disabilities enter the workforce.
Minister Wong visited the Neil Squire Society to see first-hand how
skills training is preparing Canadians with disabilities for employment
and making a positive change in their lives.
Funded through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities,
this investment will allow the Neil Squire Society to provide life and
job skills to up to 220 Canadians with disabilities. Minister Wong met
project participants and talked with them about the skills they are
learning such as interview techniques and computer skills to help them
successfully transition to the workplace.
Minister Wong also spoke with members of the Neil Squire Society about
their efforts to build partnerships with employers to raise awareness
of the valuable contribution that Canadians with disabilities can make
to the labour market.
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
On January 10, 2014, Minister Bergen announced over $8.8 million in
funding to the Neil Squire Society through the Opportunities Fund for
another project to help up to 830 Canadians with disabilities gain the
necessary skills and experience to overcome barriers to employment.
The Neil Squire Society has helped more than 1,400 participants gain job
skills through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
Since 2006, the Opportunities Fund has helped over 34,600 Canadians with
On April 25, 2014, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment
and Social Development, announced that the governments of Canada and
British Columbia signed a renewed Labour Market Agreement for Persons
with Disabilities that will better meet the employment needs of
Canadian businesses and improve the employment prospects for Canadians
with disabilities, helping residents in British Columbia get much
needed skills and training to find jobs.
"All Canadians, regardless of level of ability, have a tremendous amount
to offer. To support Canada's long-term prosperity, we must ensure
that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so. Today's
announcement will help Canadians with disabilities get the skills
needed to obtain jobs and enable employers to benefit from their skills
- The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth.
Canadians with disabilities have a lot to offer. However, they remain
under-represented in our workforce and face particular challenges
entering the job market, and that's why partnerships with organizations
like the Neil Squire Society are so important."
- The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors) and Member of
Parliament for Richmond
"We have been thrilled to have this opportunity to deliver projects that
provide persons with disabilities the essential employability skills
for the labour market. This creates significant opportunities for these
individuals to obtain long-term attachment to the workforce. We are
extremely grateful for the support we have received from the
Opportunities Fund to make this possible."
- Gary Birch, O.C., Ph.D., P.Eng., Executive Director, Neil Squire
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities provides $30 million annually to help people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep
employment or become self-employed.
Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a $10 million increase in ongoing
funding to the Opportunities Fund, to $40 million annually, starting in
2015-16. Employers and community organizations will be involved in
designing and delivering projects.
In addition, through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada
providing $15 million over three years to the Ready, Willing & Able
initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living to help
connect Canadians with developmental disabilities with jobs; and
providing $11.4 million over four years to support the expansion of
vocational training programs for Canadians with Autism Spectrum
To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the
introduced a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with
Disabilities with an investment of $222 million per year;
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
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
For further information:
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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