ST. JOHN'S, Nov. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is helping 70 youth and Canadians with disabilities develop the skills and experience they need to find jobs. The announcement was made today by Senator Fabian Manning on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development.
Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador is receiving more than $450,000 from the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the Skills Link program for two projects to help 38 people with disabilities, including youth, overcome barriers to employment. Assistive devices, such as screen readers, will also be supplied to some participants to enable them to participate more fully in the workplace.
Also through the Skills Link program, the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work is receiving more than $325,000 and the St. Barbe Development Association is receiving more than $90,000 to help 32 youth, including many with disabilities, find jobs.
In all four projects, participants will develop the skills and experience they need to make a successful transition into the job market or return to school. They will learn or improve employment skills, such as time management and computer skills, and gain hands-on work experience with local employers. Many participants will also obtain practical certification, such as Red Cross Standard First Aid training.
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 available jobs.
- Since 2006, the Government of Canada's Opportunities Fund has helped over 34,000 people with disabilities, and the Youth Employment Strategy has helped over 610,000 youth develop the skills and experience they need to find jobs. Skills Link is part of the Youth Employment Strategy.
- To provide more training solutions related to in-demand jobs for Canadians with disabilities, Economic Action Plan 2013 announced an increase in funding, to $40 million annually, for the Opportunities Fund.
- The Government of Canada is helping Canadian youth gets the skills employers are looking for with the Canada Job Grant, the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant and the Apprenticeship Completion Grant. The Government also offers tax credits, such as tuition, education and textbook tax credits, the tradesperson's tools deduction, and the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit.
- Economic Action Plan 2014 is introducing the Canada Apprentice Loan, which provides apprentices registered in Red Seal trades with interest-free loans of up to $4,000 to complete their technical training. At least 26,000 apprentices are expected to apply annually.
"Our Government's top priorities are creating jobs and economic growth. To support Canada's long-term prosperity, Canadian employers must tap into all available talent. The projects announced today will help both youth and Canadians with disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador get the skills and experience needed to obtain jobs in today's economy."
– The Honourable Fabian Manning, Senator
"Ensuring the prosperity and growth of our economy goes hand in hand with providing Canadians with the skills to enter and remain in the labour force. Initiatives like Skills Link and the Opportunities Fund help connect people with disabilities and youth with jobs while ensuring that Canada's economy benefits from the skills and talents of all Canadians."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development
"Through our continued partnership with the Government of Canada, Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador is able to assist persons with disabilities to develop the skills necessary to be competitive in the workforce and ultimately secure long-term sustainable employment."
– Mark Lane, CEO, Easter Seals Newfoundland and Labrador
"Government of Canada funding allows the CCRW to provide youth with a wide range of disabilities the opportunity to learn employability and life skills in a supportive and respectful environment. This helps prepare them for the workplace and provides them with the skills necessary to secure and maintain employment, including meaningful and practical work experience. The CCRW could not carry out this project without support from the Government of Canada."
– Meghan Kelly, Youth Employment Counsellor, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
"With funding from the Government of Canada, the St. Barbe Development Association is able to continue our work in helping youth break down barriers to employment and help connect youth with jobs. With this funding, youth across Newfoundland and Labrador, and in particular the St. Barbe area of the Great Northern Peninsula, can gain hands-on experience and get the skills needed to obtain and keep jobs."
– Gloria Toope, Executive Manager, St. Barbe Development Association
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 Opportunities Fund funding, to $40 million annually, starting in 2015–16. Employers and community organizations will be involved in designing and delivering training projects.
In addition, through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada is:
- providing $15 million over three years to the Ready, Willing & Able initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living to help connect persons with developmental disabilities with jobs; and
- providing $11.4 million over four years to support the expansion of vocational training programs for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government:
- introduced 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;
- 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 disabilities.
The Youth Employment Strategy (YES) is the Government of Canada's commitment to help youth make a successful transition to the workplace. With annual funding of approximately $330 million, YES helps youth between the ages of 15 and 30 get the information and gain the skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workplace. 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.
Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment—including single parents, youth with disabilities, young newcomers 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. Skills Link has helped over 190,000 youth since 2006.
Career Focus helps post-secondary graduates transition to the labour market through paid internships and helps to provide youth with the information and experience they need to make informed career decisions, find a job and/or pursue advanced studies. Since 2006, the Career Focus initiative has helped over 29,000 youth acquire skills needed to join 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. Since it began in 2007, Canada Summer Jobs has helped over 390,000 students.
Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada is investing $40 million towards supporting up to 3,000 internships in high-demand fields and $15 million annually towards supporting up to 1,000 internships in small and medium-sized enterprises under the Youth Employment Strategy.
Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need include introducing 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, 819-994-5559, [email protected]