The pandemic has been hard on everyone, but it’s been especially hard for British Columbians with disabilities and those facing barriers to employment.

The province has announced that non-profit organizations can apply for the second round of the Work Experience Opportunities Grant.

The grant allows these organizations to provide British Columbians with work experience opportunities.

“Many people with disabilities and people with persistent multiple barriers have lost their jobs or are having difficulty finding work in a labour market that’s been severely impacted by COVID-19,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The Work Experience Opportunities Grant provides them new ways to participate in, and benefit from, B.C.’s economic recovery.”

With $10 million from StrongerBC: BC Economic Recovery Plan, the grant helps eligible, non-profit organizations throughout the province, along with federally registered charities provide 12-weeks of work experience for disabled people and those facing barriers.

“The Chase Hamper Society is extremely excited to have been awarded the chance to provide adults with diverse abilities an opportunity to take part in the Work Experience Opportunities Grant,” said Maureen MacDonald, executive food bank manager, Chase Hamper Society. “The Chase Hamper Society will employ three individuals from the community who will learn the operations of their local food bank. We are excited to welcome these individuals as part of our foodbank family.”

Organizations can apply for $5,000 per participant (maximum of five participants). The grants include a stipend and are expected to help up to two thousand British Columbians get the work experience they need to gain long-term employment opportunities.

“This grant provides funding to eligible non-profit organizations in B.C. to help them deliver inclusive employment supports and opportunities to some of our most vulnerable and under-represented citizens,” said Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits.

Who is eligible?

  • People with the provincial Persons with Disabilities designation
  • Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers status
  • Indigenous peoples on reserve who have the equivalent federal designation

After the work placement, WorkBC Centres can help participants leverage their work experience for other opportunities.

More than 75 organizations applied for the first intake of the Work Experience Opportunities Grant (from November 3 to December 7, 2020). Those applications are under review.

The application deadline is February 16th.