Skip to content

PATRICIA NEVES: People with disabilities could help fill jobs in Nova Scotia

PATRICIA NEVES • Guest Opinion

Patricia Neves is executive director of Inclusion Nova Scotia

With so many unemployed Nova Scotians, it is difficult to understand why jobs remain unfilled.

While the pandemic may have changed how and where people are working, it was not the tipping point for what is currently being described as one of the worst labor shortages experienced in our country.

The reality is, COVID-19 did not create a labor shortage. Nova Scotia has a vibrant untapped, and underutilized labor force. This talent pool is too often overlooked, leaving businesses understaffed and job seekers frustrated and unemployed.

Nationwide, there are approximately 500,000 working-age adults with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but only one in four are employed.

There are hundreds of unfilled positions, for which these individuals are ready, willing and able to do the job. But we aren’t hiring them.

This untapped workforce can help address current labor shortages while making your business stronger, more diverse and more productive.

Patricia Neves: “Inclusion Nova Scotia is working with employers, job seekers and employment support service providers across the province to solve this perceived labor shortage.” – Contributed

Employment is an important part of independent living and a thriving economy. Beyond building strong economies, work is a foundation for independence and financial security. It lifts people out of poverty, improves health, safety, knowledge, and skills. Most importantly, it broadens opportunities and choices.

Employment is an important part of independent living and a thriving economy. Beyond building strong economies, work is a foundation for independence and financial security. It lifts people out of poverty, improves health, safety, knowledge, and skills. Most importantly, it broadens opportunities and choices.

Inclusion Nova Scotia is working with employers, job seekers and employment support service providers across the province to solve this perceived labor shortage.

As a delivery partner of Ready, Willing and Able, a national partnership of Inclusion Canada, Autism Alliance of Canada, and their member organizations funded by the Government of Canada, RWA is designed to increase the labor force participation of people with an intellectual disability or on the autism spectrum.

We support employers to develop and implement inclusive hiring policies and practices and share their open positions with job seekers with intellectual disabilities or autism. We continue to provide support throughout the posting and hiring process to bring qualified candidates and employers together.

Inclusion Nova Scotia is also a founding member of the Nova Scotia Inclusive Employment Collaborators (NSIEC), a provincewide, peer-led, volunteer-driven initiative.

Members of NSIEC have joined together to ensure everyone has access to fair and sustainable employment. Since launching, NSIEC has been able to:

• Remove barriers critical to an employment led economy;

• Strengthen links between small- and medium-sized businesses that are typically labor-intensive, and employment support service providers and employment bound individuals;

• Maximize employment matching opportunities in rural Nova Scotia

NSIEC members are committed to:

• Sharing knowledge, best practice and resources;

• Providing professional development and learning opportunities;

• Building a culture of engagement and a consistent approach to employer support;

• Building a community of practice to support those who are interested in lifting people out of poverty through employment.

If you are interested in learning more about our programs that support inclusive hiring policies and practices please contact us at:

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 902.329.5202

Visit: www.nsiec.works, www.readywillingable.ca, www.inclusionns.ca

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BPISSUENEWS