Government of Canada invests in skills training and career advancements for persons with disabilities 

News release

June 1, 2023              Nanaimo, British Columbia              Employment and Social Development Canada

Ensuring that persons with disabilities across the country have access to new opportunities and skills training so that they can contribute meaningfully to our economy is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, visited ETHOS Career Management Group, in Nanaimo, to announce funding for six organizations across Canada that are providing Canadians with the skills and support they need to succeed in the workforce. This $16 million investment through the Skills for Success program will provide training for over 7,400 Canadians, and some of these projects will serve persons with disabilities. These projects are:

  • ETHOS’ Skills Quest 4 Success Project
  • TEAM Work Cooperative’s Piloting Employment Project
  • Saskatchewan Abilities Council’s Job Skills for Success Project
  • CBDC’s Restigouche Project Skills for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises to Succeed in Rural Canada
  • Canadian Hard of Hearing Association’s Accessible Navigation to Employment Program
  • Canada Safety Council’s Driver for Hire Project

ETHOS is also receiving $3 million under the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities to establish its project Entrepreneurs on the Rise - A Journey to Self-Employment for Women with Disabilities. This two-year project will provide around 200 women with disabilities in British Columbia the opportunity to create and implement their own business concepts and plans. Through one-on-one mentoring, concept development workshops and training, the women participating in this project will gain access to the fundamental skills that will enable them to confidently launch their own business. ETHOS will be working closely with Community Futures British Columbia on this project.

Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s ongoing actions to grow Canada’s economy and build a more equitable and inclusive country, as announced in Budget 2023. It also supports the Government of Canada’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which includes the employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities. The strategy will:

  • help individuals prepare for, find and keep good jobs, as well as advance in their careers or become entrepreneurs;
  • support employers’ efforts for workplace diversification by helping them create inclusive and accessible workplaces for employees with disabilities; and
  • increase the supply, capacity and reach of individuals and organizations that work to support disability inclusion and accessibility in employment.


“Creating a disability-inclusive Canada means making sure employers have the tools they need to hire and develop persons with disabilities in their careers. We’re making sure that happens, while also equipping people with the skills they will need to succeed, and thrive in the workplace.”

– Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

“Persons with disabilities deserve good-paying jobs and a decent quality of life, as do all people in our society. If we are able to remove barriers at the learning and training stages, it would benefit employment. Skills Quest 4 Success is hosted on a gamified learning management system. This system allows us to level the playing field by using quest-based learning, an instructional design theory that leverages game mechanics to support student engagement and motivation. Quests are a great way to scaffold participant learning, breaking down learning into small chunks, and supporting students as they move from basic to more complex concepts. When we help ensure Persons with Disabilities have the skills necessary to fill job vacancies, we are providing them with the opportunity to contribute, become more self-sufficient and ultimately make a difference in Canada.”

 – Deborah Bromley, CEO of ETHOS Career Management Group

Quick facts

  • According to the 2017 Canadian Survey on Disability, the employment rates of persons with disabilities (59%) are much lower than those of Canadians without disabilities (80%).

  • Projects funded by the Skills for Success program will contribute to an estimated 90,000 skills training opportunities, helping the Government deliver on its commitment to create 500,000 new training and work opportunities for Canadians. 

  • The Opportunities Fund helps persons with disabilities to overcome barriers through finding and keeping good jobs. It also helps employers hire and retain employees with disabilities. To support the implementation of an employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities through the Opportunities Fund, the Government of Canada committed $272.6 million over five years in Budget 2022.

  • Currently, 45% of Canadians lack the literacy, numeracy and digital skills that are increasingly necessary to succeed in jobs in the knowledge economy. It is estimated that a 1% increase in average literacy rates in Canada, over time, would contribute to an increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) of up to 3% and an increase in productivity of up to 5%. Investments in women and individuals with the lowest literacy levels would have the greatest effect on growth.

  • National AccessAbility Week is taking place from May 28 to June 3, 2023. A nationwide week of recognition, National AccessAbility Week marks the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of persons with disabilities. The theme for this year is “Disability Inclusion: From Possibilities to Practice.”

Related products

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Tara Beauport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada

Page details

Date modified: