People with mental and physical disabilities represent a growing share of the Canadian workforce. A workshop in Sidney will provide employers with a deeper understanding of disability issues and how to address them. (Black Press File).

Sidney session highlights work opportunities for people with physical or mental disabilities

Information session scheduled for Friday at SHOAL Centre

A Sidney councillor believes local employers can help fill local labour gaps by reaching out to individuals with disabilities.

Coun. Terri O’Keeffe made that observation as the Victoria Disability Resource Centre hosts a special information session Friday to highlight local opportunities for people with physical or mental disabilities.

The SHOAL Centre is hosting the session running from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Interested parties should register with Jennifer VanEs at the Shoal Centre jvanes@beaconcs.ca.

While many Greater Victoria employers struggle to find employees, the issue appears especially critical in Sidney, she said, in pointing to labour statistics, starting with Sidney’s labour participation rate, the share of the population employed or seeking employments.

It stands at 48 per cent, a reflection of Sidney’s older demographics, compared to 64 per cent for the rest of the region. These figures mean Sidney’s labour pool is shallower than elsewhere in the region, she said. So it makes sense for employers to sense to reach out to all sectors of the population to fill job vacancies, she added.

Individuals with physical or mental disabilities, meanwhile, are eager to work, but employers tend to ignore them at their own peril, given their numbers.

RELATED: New report shows effects of Canada’s aging workforce

According to Statistics Canada, 22 per cent of the Canadian population aged 15 years and over – or about 6.2 million individuals – had one or more disabilities in 2017.

While their participation rates has changed over time, the figures still show a massive difference between participation rates for person with disabilities and those without.

In 2011, 55 per cent persons with disabilities worked, compared with 84 per cent for persons without a disability. By 2017, the respective numbers had changed to 59 per cent, and 80 per cent.

O’Keeffe acknowledged that some employers may hesitate to hire persons with disabilities for various reasons, including lack of knowledge about disability and accommodation issues, costs and legal obligations.

She added this information session will provide employers with a deeper understanding of disability issues and how to address them.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Sooke Santa Run 2019 an inspiration

Loads of food for the food bank and a lot of smiles

Esquimalt speed skating week helps province determine find fastest skater

Speed Week takes place on Dec. 17 at Archie Browning arena

Goldstream church offers free festive feast

Gordon United Church says all are welcome to attend Monday’s meal

Longtime Saanich drama group brings pirates onstage for traditional Christmas pantomime

St. Luke’s Players present Treasure Island Dec. 18 to Jan. 4

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read