Government of Canada helps youth with disabilities get jobs

KELOWNA, BC, March 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Young people with disabilities are learning about employment opportunities and connecting with employers at the Strategies to Employment Forum being held here today with the support of the Government of Canada.  On behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, the Honourable Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, recognized the work of the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), host of the event.

"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. To address critical skills shortages, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity," said Mr. Cannan. "People with disabilities face particular challenges entering the job market and that's why partnerships with organizations such as the National Educational Association of Disabled Students are so important."

In September 2012, NEADS received over $78,000 from the Youth Awareness program to help youth with disabilities learn about educational and career options through employment forums in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna.

NEADS' employment forums help post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities access the information and resources they need to find work. Participants can attend workshops to learn skills such as conducting an effective job search, writing résumés and planning a career. They also have the opportunity to network with potential employers from the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. The employment forums in Victoria and Vancouver have already taken place.

"The National Educational Association of Disabled Students is grateful for the significant contribution the Government of Canada has provided to our project in British Columbia," said Frank Smith, National Coordinator, NEADS. "The events in Victoria and Vancouver resulted in important learning opportunities to help post-secondary students and graduates with disabilities in the province transition successfully into the job market. We look forward to our Kelowna event."

Youth Awareness complements the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES) that helps youth develop the skills and gain the experience they need to get jobs now and prepare for the workforce of tomorrow. Youth Awareness provides financial assistance for projects designed to promote youth as the workforce of the future.

With annual funding of more than $300 million, YES helps youth, particularly those facing barriers to employment, obtain career information, develop employment skills, find jobs and stay employed. YES includes the Skills Link and Career Focus programs and the Canada Summer Jobs initiative, which creates thousands of job opportunities for students every summer.

Economic Action Plan 2012 provided an additional $50 million over two years to enhance YES through a new initiative that will connect young Canadians with jobs in high demand and help them develop tangible skills and gain work experience.

The Government of Canada is helping youth plan their careers, learn new skills and find jobs through enhanced online services available at


Youth employment programs are part of the Government of Canada's broader strategy to create an educated, skilled and flexible workforce. The Government underscored its commitment to this strategy in Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

The Youth Employment Strategy is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace.

Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment, including youth who are single parents, youth with disabilities and youth in rural and remote areas, to develop the skills and gain the experience needed to find a job or the confidence to return to school.

Career Focus provides funding to employers to hire young post-secondary graduates to give them career-related work experience and help them acquire skills to transition into the job market.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

To learn more about Canada's Youth Employment Strategy and other youth employment initiatives, visit

In addition, Economic Action Plan 2012 is investing an additional $30 million over three years in the Opportunities Fund to enable more Canadians with disabilities to obtain work experience with small- and medium-sized businesses. The investment will also help ensure that employers are aware of the invaluable contribution persons with disabilities can make to their business and the Canadian economy.

The Government also established the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities which recently released its report, Rethinking DisAbility in the Private Sector. The report highlights actions employers can take to accommodate people with disabilities in their workplaces, as well as the benefits for both individuals and businesses.

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

Marian Ngo
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada
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This news release is available online at


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