September, Focusing on Hiring the Disabled
Prince George, B.C. – For the fourth straight year, September has been marked as Disability Employment Month in B.C. It’s a chance to celebrate the contributions of those who have challenges, and the employers and communities who support their success.
There are more than 330 thousand British Columbians between the ages of 15 and 64, who self identify as having a disability. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities is 4.5% higher than those without, and they are more than twice as likely to live in poverty.
During September, the focus is on raising awareness about the skills people with disabilities can bring to the workplace. The month is also a time to encourage businesses to create an inclusive, diverse work force.
“People with disabilities have skills and talents that employers are looking for and should have an equal opportunity at meaningful employment” says Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Shane Simpson ” By proclaiming Disability Employment Month, our government wants to raise awareness and get more people with disabilities into good, well-paying jobs in B.C.”
Over the course of this month, WorkBC Employment Services Centres, organizations and communities throughout the province will host open houses, job fairs, workshops and appreciation events. Job seekers and employers can contact their local WorkBC Employment Services Centre to learn more about the Disability Employment Month events in their area and the resources and supports available to help people with disabilities obtain employment.