3 Importance of Work to Canadian and British Columbia Governments

In the past, the BC Government has recognized the importance of developing strong services that assist persons with disabilities overcoming barriers and challenges in securing employment. The Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance stated its priority of delivering the “best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities.” In its “Skills for Jobs Blueprint”, the provincial government made a commitment to “invest in programs for persons with disabilities” (Work BC, 2014, p. 6). [1]

 

Through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, government is re-engineering public post-secondary institution operating grants to align education and training with labour market demand. By increasing the proportion of operating grants and student spaces focused on priority programs, post-secondary education and training will better align with in-demand occupations needed to meet the labour market demands. Priority programs include programs relating to priority health occupations, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, regional labour priorities, as well as those programs leading to the Top 100 occupations listed in the British Columbia 2025 Labour Market Outlook. [2]

 

In its Accessibility 2024 initiative, the BC government stated, “Supporting and encouraging meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities in B.C.” (Government of British Columbia, n.d., p. 28) as one of the twelve “building blocks” in its ten-year action plan. This plan includes a goal of B.C.  having “…the highest labour participation rate for people with disabilities in Canada by 2024” (Government of British Columbia, n.d., p. 12).

 

Accessibility 2024 is a 10-year action plan. Its goal is to make B.C. the most progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities. The plan is a response to what we heard during the public consultation. It contains 12 building blocks based on themes that emerged during the consultation. (Government of British Columbia, n.d., p. 1)

 

Additionally, the new curriculum for BC schools emphasizes the need for a “life-long approach to career education” (Government of British Columbia, n.d., p. 1) and includes “a redesigned provincial curriculum that focuses solely on the competencies and content required for career development” (Government of British Columbia, n.d., p. 1). [3] “Career Education” is now incorporated throughout the recently revised K-12 curriculum.

The importance of employment and employability skills also continues to be emphasized in the post-secondary context in general, and within ASE specifically. The Ministry of Advanced Education states that the following program objectives for ASE:

Building the best system of supports for persons with disabilities is a priority for British Columbia. ASE provides opportunities for students with cognitive and developmental disabilities to acquire the skills needed for success in academic or employment related programs, or to move directly into the workplace either part-time or full-time. [4]

From a federal perspective, the importance of employment is emphasized and delineated within in each province and territory through Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LAMPDs). Programs and initiatives are designed at the provincial/territorial level and costs are shared with the federal government.

 

The LMAPDs give provinces and territories the flexibility to determine their own priorities and approaches to best address the needs of persons with disabilities in their jurisdictions, with the objectives of:

  • enhancing the employability of persons with disabilities;
  • increasing the employment opportunities available to persons with disabilities; and
  • demonstrating the best possible results for Canadians on these investments. [5]

  1. Work BC. (2014). B.C's Skills for Jobs Blueprint: Re-engineering Education and Training. Province of British Columbia. http://www.bccassn.com/media/BC%20Skills%20for%20Jobs%20Blueprint_Re_engineering%20Education%20and%20Training.pdf
  2. British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education. (2017, February). bcbudget.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from 2017/8-2019/20 Service Plan: http://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2017/sp/pdf/ministry/aved.pdf
  3. Government of British Columbia. (2017, November 22). Career Education. Retrieved from BC's New Curriculum: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/career-education
  4. Innovation, B. C. (2015). Canada - British Columbia labour market Aagreement for persons with disabilities annual report 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2017, from www2.gov.bc.ca: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/social-development-social-innovation/lmapwd-annual-report.pdf
  5. Government of Canada. (n.d.). Canada - British Columbia Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities | ESDC. Retrieved February 8, 2018, from Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/training-agreements/lma-disabilities/bc.html#h2.19

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