AJAX, ON, April 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada will help people with disabilities in the Greater Toronto Area develop the skills they need to find jobs, today announced Chris Alexander, Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth in Durham Region and across Canada. To support our long-term prosperity as a country, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity," said Mr. Alexander. "People with disabilities face particular challenges entering the job market and that's why partnerships with organizations like the Building Bridges Association of Canada are so important."
The Building Bridges Association of Canada is receiving more than $91,000 through the federal Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to support two career networking events to be held in downtown Toronto. These events will allow employers and persons with disabilities to share their experiences and best practices through round tables, panel discussions and presentations. They will also help raise employer awareness of the important contribution that persons with disabilities can make to the workplace and promote the benefits of creating an inclusive and diverse work environment.
"Support from the Government of Canada has made it possible to offer programs that service persons with disabilities," said Ms. Ashima Suri, Director, Building Bridges Association of Canada. "By providing the unique opportunity to connect with employers and continue to build their network of contacts, we are supporting diversity within the workplace and promoting greater employer awareness of hiring people with disabilities."
Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers but they remain under-represented in the workforce. That is why the Government of Canada, through Economic Action Plan 2012, invested an additional $30 million in the Opportunities Fund to help more people with disabilities gain the hands-on experience they need to find jobs.
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to maintain ongoing funding at $40 million per year for the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, starting in 2015-16. The program will provide more training to persons with disabilities for in-demand jobs. Employers and community organizations will be involved in project design and delivery. The Plan also introduces other measures to support persons with disabilities, including a new generation of Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, extending funding to the Enabling Accessibility Fund to improve physical accessibility and research on the labour market participation of persons with disabilities.
Economic Action Plan 2012 also announced the creation of a Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The Panel identified private sector successes and best practices regarding 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 to provide a $2 million investment to support the creation of the Canadian Employers Disability Forum to facilitate education, training and sharing of resources and best practices concerning the hiring and retention of persons with disabilities.
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This news release is available online at www.actionplan.gc.ca.
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment or become self-employed. The Government of Canada invests $30 million annually through this program to connect individuals with the skills and work experience needed to participate fully in the economy.
For more information, or to propose a project, visit servicecanada.gc.ca.
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 also support the following measures:
- An introduction of 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 capital costs of construction and renovations to improve physical accessibility for persons with disabilities, including workplace accommodation.
- Additional 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 persons with disabilities.
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada