The provincial government, in conjunction with the Premier's Council on the Status of Disabled Persons, will hold a Premier's Forum on Employment for Persons with a Disability today (May 12) in advance of the provincial jobs summit People, Skills, Jobs: Putting our resources to work.
"Helping people with disabilities access the supports and services they need to reach their full potential is an objective that is near and dear to me," said Premier David Alward. "As a government, we believe that valuing all citizens to ensure that they are able to live to their fullest potential, being committed to being a truly inclusive society is and should be of the utmost importance for every New Brunswicker as we work together to put our resources to work."
The Disability Action Plan - The time for action is now was released in May, 2012. In addition to this plan, government introduced the Employment Action Plan for Persons with a Disability in New Brunswick, which is targeted at improving opportunities for persons with disabilities.
The forum comes as a result of a recommendation in the Employment Action Plan for Persons with a Disability in New Brunswick, which states: "Hold a Premier's Forum on Employment for Persons with a disability with a particular focus on engaging employer in order to generate interest in hiring people and to promote awareness of and interest in the Employment Action Plan."
"Many people with disabilities are very interested and capable of working,” said Jeff Sparks, chairperson of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Disabled Persons. “With new technologies and limited added cost of accommodation, people with disabilities are very capable of doing work that many employers would have never imagined. Full inclusion of all citizens should be our shared objectives."
"It's important for all of us to remember that the Disability Action Plan and the Employment Action Plan are not mutually exclusive," said Alward. "By ensuring access to employment and education, we are making great progress in ensuring the full participation of all of our citizens. We will continue to focus on efforts on all fronts to raise the bar as we strive towards an inclusive society for all."
A full progress report on the action plan will be released in June, during Disability Awareness Week.
As part of the forum Mark Wafer, owner of several Tim Horton's franchises in Ontario, will speak about his experience and nationally recognized commitment to employing persons with a disability.
The province is also holding a job and career fair on May 14 at the Delta Fredericton, which is open to the public. In addition, the provincial government supported a job and career fair in Moncton earlier this spring. A labour market forum was held earlier this week in Bathurst and a job fair specifically for persons with disabilities is scheduled for June 4 at the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick campus in Campbellton.