OTTAWA, July 31, 2015 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada will provide over $35 million over three years for 10 projects as part of its goal to help Canadians with disabilities gain the skills and experience they need to find jobs. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development.
A total of 10 organizations are receiving over $35 million from the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities for their projects to help more than 4,250 people with disabilities across Canada prepare for the job market. Through the projects, participants who have little or no work experience will learn to obtain and maintain employment through one-on-one and group workshops, job coaching and on-the-job training.
Since 2006, the Opportunities Fund has helped 40,000 people with disabilities across Canada. 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.
Today's announcement is one example of what the Government is doing to help Canadians. In its ongoing effort to help hard-working families, the Government also increased the Universal Child Care Benefit, introduced the Family Tax Cut and made improvements to the Child Care Expenses Deduction and the Children's Fitness Tax Credit.
- To provide more demand-driven training solutions for people with disabilities, the Government's Economic Action Plan is increasing funding to the Opportunities Fund to $40 million annually. Employers and community organizations will be involved in designing and delivering training projects.
- Projects such as these demonstrate how important it is that we support Canadians of all abilities in finding a job. The Opportunities Fund builds upon our Government's strong record of supporting those Canadians who need it most.
- Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government is providing $15 million over three years to the Canadian Association for Community Living to help connect people with developmental disabilities with jobs. It is also providing $11.4 million over four years to the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada to expand vocational training programs for people with autism spectrum disorders.
- The Universal Child Care Benefit is providing up to $1,920 per year for children under the age of six. Parents are also receiving a new benefit of up to $720 per year for each child aged six through 17.
"Our Government's top priorities are reducing taxes and creating jobs and economic growth. To support Canada's long-term prosperity, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so. The project announced today will help Canadians with disabilities get the skills needed to obtain jobs and enable employers to benefit from their skills and talents."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists Canadians with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and keep employment, or become self-employed, to help them participate fully in the workforce and increase their independence.
Economic Action Plan 2013 announced a $10 million increase in funding for the Opportunities Fund, to $40 million annually, starting in 2015–16. Recently announced reforms will place a greater emphasis on hands-on experience, including work experience for more youth with disabilities, and ensure employers and community organizations are involved in the design and delivery of projects.
To further help Canadians with disabilities in the workforce, the Government has:
- 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.
Other measures to connect Canadians with available jobs and equip them with the skills and training they need 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.
Organizations receiving funding
Neil Squire Society is receiving funding in the amount of $10 million from the Opportunities Fund for a project that will take place in Burnaby (British Columbia), Regina (Saskatchewan), Ottawa (Ontario), Fredericton and Moncton (New Brunswick) and Prince Edward Island. A total of 1,000 participants living with a disability will learn and prepare for employment through workshops, training sessions and coaching sessions. They will also gain actual work experience in either public, private or non-profit organizations.
SPHERE-Québec is receiving funding in the amount of $8,285,242 from the Opportunities Fund for a project that will take place in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick. A total of 900 participants living with a disability will learn and prepare for employment through workshops, training sessions and coaching sessions. They will also gain actual work experience in either public, private or non-profit organizations.
Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW) is receiving funding in the amount of $7,723,369 from the Opportunities Fund for a project that will take place in nine cities across Canada: Saint John (New Brunswick); Winnipeg (Manitoba); Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert (Saskatchewan); Surrey (British Columbia); Kitchener and Toronto (Ontario); and Coldbrook (Nova Scotia). A total of 1,835 participants living with a disability will learn and prepare for employment through workshops, training sessions and coaching sessions. They will also gain actual work experience in either public, private or non-profit organizations.
Saint Mary's University is receiving funding in the amount of $1,255,630 from the Opportunities Fund for a project that will take place in multiple cities across Atlantic Canada including: Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville and Sydney (Nova Scotia); Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton (New Brunswick); Charlottetown, Summerside and Montague (Prince Edward Island); St. John's, Gander and Corner Brook (Newfoundland and Labrador). A total of 42 participants living with a disability will learn and prepare for employment through workshops, training sessions, coaching sessions and work placements.
Make A Change Canada (formerly the Canadian Society for Social Development) is receiving funding in the amount of $2,113,679 from the Opportunities Fund. The project activities will be delivered virtually through the Business Abilities/Compétences en affaires (BA/CA) website, as well as through a social enterprise that will be operated out of Barrie, Ontario. A total of 280 participants living with a disability will learn and prepare for employment through services such as needs assessments, self-employment counselling and case management, and work experience.
Community Business Development Corporation Restigouche (CBDC) is receiving funding in the amount of $1,706,599 from the Opportunities Fund for a project that will take place in all provinces and territories of Canada (with the exeption of Yukon). CBDC Restigouche will lead a pan-Canadian awareness campaign among approximately 25,000 Canadian employers in order to raise awareness of the barriers faced by people with disabilities and showcase the value of these individuals in the workplace.
BioTalent Canada is receiving funding in the amount of $1,292,930 from the Opportunities Fund to help 90 participants across Canada gain the necessary skills for sustainable employment. The project will support people with disabilities by giving them the opportunity to benefit from interventions, enabling them to develop their skills and employability in order to prepare them to obtain and keep employment.
Community Futures Manitoba and Saskatchewan is receiving funding in the amount of $2,080,750 from the Opportunities Fund to help 120 youth and adults with disabilities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Business Beginnings project will help participants explore self-employment and start a business in rural and remote communities, including First Nations communities.
Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is receiving funding in the amount of $208,281 from the Opportunities Fund to provide 100 employers in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan with education, information and tools on the benefits and feasibility of employing people with disabilities, while promoting their valuable contribution to the workplace. In addition, the CDSS will encourage people with disabilities to be self-advocates and engage employers to develop or modify current human resources policies in order to employ people with disabilities.
Trucking Human Resources Canada is receiving funding in the amount of $1,199,590 from the Opportunities Fund. It will develop and deliver disability awareness activities and material to trucking industry employers including tools, resources and training to assist them in making informed decisions to engage people with disabilities in employment opportunities. The project activities will be delivered in Langley (British Columbia), Calgary (Alberta), Regina (Saskatchewan), Winnipeg (Manitoba), Toronto (Ontario), Montréal (Quebec) and all Atlantic provinces.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]