KITCHENER, ON, April 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada will help people with disabilities in the Kitchener-Waterloo area develop the skills they need to find jobs, Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, today announced 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. To support Canada's long-term prosperity, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity," said Mr. Woodworth. "People with disabilities face particular challenges entering the job market, and that's why partnerships with respected organizations like KW Habilitation are so important."
KW Habilitation is receiving more than $93,000 through the federal Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to help people with developmental disabilities get the support they need to find jobs or return to school.
Following an assessment of their employability skills, participants will develop their abilities through on-the-job experience with local employers. Participants will also receive one-on-one assistance to learn job search strategies and prepare for interviews to help them find meaningful employment.
"KW Habilitation is grateful to have received funding from the Government of Canada to assist Canadians with disabilities to access skill development opportunities," said Ann Bilodeau, Executive Director, KW Habilitation. "This funding will help break down barriers to employment faced by 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 people 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 people 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.
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:
- the 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; and
- 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 people with disabilities.
SOURCE: Canada's Economic Action Plan
For further information:
Office of Minister Finley
Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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This news release is available online at www.actionplan.gc.ca.