The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced that the Harper Government is helping 1 600 Canadians with disabilities get jobs.
“Canadians with disabilities have a tremendous amount to offer employers but they remain underrepresented in our workforce,” said Minister Finley. “Today, I am pleased to announce that our government is helping 1 600 hardworking Canadians with disabilities get jobs.”
According to a recent survey by the Bank of Montreal, 56% of small businesses in Canada have never hired anyone with a disability. When asked why they had not, the most common answer from small business owners was that they do not know how to recruit them. The Harper Government is taking action to address this problem by working with small business owners to help connect willing workers with jobs.
Through the Opportunities Fund, the Harper Government is making an investment in Canadians with disabilities. The new investment is designed to provide work experience to Canadians with disabilities that will lead to ongoing employment in small or medium-sized enterprises across Canada. Some of the projects will increase employer awareness of the valuable contribution people with disabilities can make to their businesses and the Canadian economy.
“Through discussions with employers from across the country, it is clear that skills shortages are top of mind,” said Minister Finley. “In order to support Canada’s continued economic growth, we must ensure that everyone who wants to work has the opportunity to do so, including under-represented groups such as people with disabilities.”
“Programs and services that connect job seekers with disabilities to the employers who need them are an excellent investment by the government. There is a ‘business case’ for diversity and employment inclusion for people with disabilities; the needs of local businesses are just as important as the needs of our clientele,” said Sean McEwen, Career Development Manager, Calgary Alternative Support Services. “Our employment placement and job retention supports result in a win-win scenario for all Canadians.”
The Harper Government will partner with eligible organizations such as businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Crown corporations and educational institutions to develop and manage large-scale national projects. Organizations have until November 16, 2012 to apply. Information is available at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.
The Harper Government is improving labour market opportunities for all Canadians through a wide range of effective policies, programs and services, including the Opportunities Fund, Targeted Initiative for Older Workers, Youth Employment Strategy and labour market agreements with provinces and territories.
To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
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