Government of Canada helps people with disabilities in Winnipeg gain job skills

WINNIPEG, May 31, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada will help people with disabilities in Winnipeg develop the skills, knowledge and experience they need to find jobs. The announcement was made today by Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"People with disabilities face particular challenges entering the job market and that's why partnerships with organizations like FASD Life's Journey are so important," said Ms. Smith. "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."

FASD Life's Journey is receiving over $51,000 from the federal Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to help people with disabilities overcome barriers to employment.

Through individual sessions, participants will develop job skills such a as problem solving, interpersonal skills and effective communication. They will also gain on-the-job experience with employers to help them adapt to the work environment and enhance their participation within the community.

"As with many disabilities, adaptations can make a significant difference," said Eric Friesen, Program Director, FASD Life's Journey. "The funding provided by the Government of Canada will create opportunities for our agency and help individuals with FASD gain experience and confidence as they improve their quality of life."

Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers, but they remain under-represented in the workforce. That is why Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2013 proposes to maintain ongoing funding at $40 million per year for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, starting in 2015-16, to help more people with disabilities train for in-demand jobs. Employers and community organizations will be involved in project design and delivery.

EAP 2013 also introduces other measures to support people with disabilities. These include a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, an extension of funding to the Enabling Accessibility Fund to improve physical accessibility and research on the labour market participation of people with disabilities.

In addition, Economic Action Plan 2012 announced the creation of a Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The Panel identified private sector successes and best practices in employing, retaining and accommodating Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, and better connecting these workers with potential employers. Based on the Panel's recommendations, Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes investing $2 million to support the creation of the Canadian Employers Disability Forum to facilitate education, training and the sharing of resources and best practices on the hiring and retention of people with disabilities.


The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment or become self-employed.

For more information, or to propose a project, visit

Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need. These 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.

In addition, Economic Action Plan 2013 will support the following measures:

  • introducing a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities with an investment of $222 million per year to better meet the employment needs of Canadian businesses and improve the employment prospects for people with disabilities;
  • extending the Enabling Accessibility Fund at a level of $15 million per year to support the capital costs of construction and renovations to improve physical accessibility for people with disabilities, including workplace accommodation; and
  • providing 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.

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

Jan O'Driscoll
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada
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