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Ready, Willing & Able-BC: Advancing real jobs, inclusive employment

Summary: 
Inclusion BC is a proud co-delivery partner for British Columbia for Ready, Willing and Able. Here's an update on this innovative initiative.

Zero Project highlights Canada's 'innovative' RWA at 2017 Vienna conference

Canada's Ready, Willing and Able initiative was highlighted at this year’s Zero Project conference in Vienna, which focused on inclusive employment, vocational education and training. The conference, with over 500 in attendance from more than 70 countries, recognized RWA as one of the innovative approaches happening around the world to support employment, decent work and meaningful vocational education and training of persons with disabilities (Read more).

The Zero Project focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities globally and provides a platform for innovative solutions that assist its goal of creating a world without barriers.

Wide-reaching partnerships making a difference in BC for inclusive job seekers

Our province is leading the way on many fronts as Ready, Willing and Able continues to support and enhance employment across BC.  The innovative RWA model focuses on understanding the needs of employers first, and then connecting them to qualified candidates with intellectual disabilities who can get the job done. This model (rooted in Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) has evolved to leverage the expertise of existing employment support agencies while continuing to expand the conversation on what inclusive employment means. 

Some notable RWA-BC results for the first two years of the initiative (to September 2016):

  • 68 agency partnerships (leading the country and nearly 50% of the national total)

  • 169 jobs (second only to Ontario, and 14.6% of the national total) 

Here are some key findings from RWA’s evaluation team at the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship, University of British Columbia, for the first two years of the national initiative:

  • On average, people who secured their first jobs worked almost 24 hours/week at $12.16/hour, with average weekly earnings of $288.

  • 2% held second jobs along with their first

  • Most first jobs obtained were in retail (42%)

  • 60.9% of RWA jobs are permanent (35% are seasonal)

  • More of those who secured jobs were men. For jobs over 15 hours/week, 67.5% were men, while 53.1% of those in jobs under 15 hours/week were men.

  • For those who left their jobs, the most common reasons were being laid off or the end of seasonal employment.

  • Total employer outreach of 5,983, of which 1,817 employers where further engaged, resulting in 1,159 jobs. 

Flexibility to design unique solutions that meet employment needs has emerged as one of RWA’s key strengths.
 
Another theme was RWA’s impact on attitudes, awareness and culture on hiring people with intellectual disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The evaluation showed these employees were having a positive effect on employers, workplace culture and attitudes. Stakeholders also described a broader improvement in attitudes towards inclusive employment within their communities.

RWA Resources

Contact us for more details on:

  • RWA Works: A free resource hub, available on demand, providing the know-how and resources to support businesses in hiring employees with an intellectual disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

  • Inclusive Hiring “Business Case” Videos: Four 30-second videos highlighting key elements of the business case for hiring an inclusive workforce.  

  • “Business Case”: Downloadable printable PDF.  

  • Job Seeker Database: In British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, RWA is pleased to pilot a database to support job seekers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in navigating their path to employment.

Connect with us at ReadyWillingAble.ca or on Twitter (@RWAworks)