MRO Magazine

Abilities Connect Fund to fill labour gaps in Ontario

Toronto – Ontario is building on its efforts to make the province accessible by 2025 through an investment of $1.8 million in the new Abilities Connect Fund.

The Fund, a one-year pilot project in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, will help fill existing workplace vacancies with employees who are ready, willing and able to work.

About 30% of businesses in Ontario have vacancies they cannot fill due to a lack of qualified candidates.

The fund will focus on three key areas:

  • Employment opportunities: Offering college/university students and recent graduates with disabilities with opportunities to gain valuable work experience through training and job placements that range from four months to one year.
  • Workplace accommodation: Providing eligible employers with a maximum of $3,000 to help accommodate new or current employees with a disability.
  • Champions Network: A new forum to help businesses share best practices and information about hiring and accommodating people with disabilities.

Creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up.

One in seven people in Ontario has a disability and this number will rise to one in five by 2036. About 43% of people with disabilities in Ontario have a post-secondary education, but face unemployment rates that are 30% higher than the rest of the population.