People with disabilities living in British Columbia’s southern interior will develop job skills and gain hands-on work experience by participating in a project that will help them overcome barriers to employment. The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, made the announcement today.
Through a project led by the Open Door Social Services Society, up to 75 people with disabilities in the Kootenay, Okanagan and Thompson regions will increase their ability to obtain and maintain employment. Depending on their needs and interests, participants may be provided with a range of support and financial assistance. Skills development opportunities will be provided at a public or private institution in industries or sectors with strong employment possibilities. Some participants will gain work experience with local employers, and entrepreneurial support, such as help preparing business plans, will be offered to those who want to start their own business.
Executive Director, Naomi Bullock, Open Door Group said “This project has supported and will continue to support many job seekers to get hired in our region, some that may not have had the opportunity otherwise. We’re also able to support local employers to access untapped talent pools and work collaboratively with community agencies. We are thrilled with the renewal of this project as it truly contributes to employment opportunities for job seekers with disabilities. What is especially encouraging is that we’re seeing a high percentage of people 30 years old or younger access the services. It’s such a great resource for our local youth.”
The Government of Canada will provide approximately $300,000 in funding for this project through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities, which supports projects that help Canadians improve their employ-ability by increasing and facilitating access to job opportunities.
“Creating an inclusive and diverse Canada is one of our government’s top priorities. Our investment in this project will help people with disabilities get the skills and experience they need to participate fully in the labour market. The days of the gold rush may be over, but we all know that there are hidden gems in southern British Columbia ready to be discovered…and that’s the kind of resource we really want to tap into.” MaryAnn Mihychuk said.
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