Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Opportunities Fund For Persons with Disabilities

Information gathered from the Opportunities Fund’s website: www.oppsfund.ca

About the Opportunities Fund Program
The Opportunities Fund Program is a financial assistance program designed to assist persons with a disability obtain employment through:

  • funding for training
  • wage subsidyBC Centre for Ability office
  • funding for adaptive equipment
  • self-employment training

Financial Assistance
Financial Assistance is negotiable and varies based on individual needs of each applicant.  It may consist of one or more of the following:

  • tuition and books
  • living expenses
  • disability supports
  • a wage subsidy paid to an employer
  • self-employment training
  • dependent care and/or child care
  • adaptive equipment/tools

How can the Opportunities Fund help me?


  • supports you while in training
  • provides accommodations you may need to access the workplace and perform your duties


  • wage subsidy terms are flexible and negotiable
  • reduces hiring and training costs
  • addresses accessibility and accommodation expenses

Success Stories

Read about some of the Success Stories with this program; click here.


Who is eligible?
To use the Opportunities Fund Program, applicants must:

  • have a permanent disability as a barrier to employment
  • be unemployed or underemployed
  • be eligible to work in Canada
  • not have received Employment Insurance benefits within the last three (3) years
  • reside in:
    • the Sunshine Coast
    • Sea to Sky up to Pemberton
    • Lower Mainland
    • Fraser Valley up to Boston Bar and Hope
    • Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

Other requirements
Before applying to the Opportunities Fund Program, individuals will meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered with a Case Manager (if you live in Powell River, reach Career Link at 604.485.7958)
  • Have completed a job search using existing skills
  • Have considered training programs that are short-term in nature

If you are not eligible, please contact your local Service Canada office.

How to Apply

Referral process
Referrals to the Opportunities Fund Program are only received from Case Managers (if you live in Powell River, reach Career Link at 604.485.7958)

Case Managers help applicants:

  • determine eligibility for the Opportunities Fund Program
  • assist eligible participants to prepare applications for funding consideration
  • support participants through training or while in a wage subsidy placement
  • assist participants with job search efforts post-graduation from training

If you do not have a Case Manager, please visit www.workbc.ca (if you live in Powell River, reach Career Link at 604.485.7958)

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions regarding this program.

The Opportunities Fund For Persons with Disabilities is a program of the BC Centre for Ability funded byEmployment and Social Development Canada.


Aboriginal in Trades & Women in Trades at VIU

What is the Powell River VIU Aboriginal in Trades Training and Women in Trades Training Program? (download the brochure)

The Powell River VIU Aboriginal in Trades Training and Women in Trades Training Program runs from September 29 – December 19, 2014 at Vancouver Island University’s Powell River campus and at Career Link.  Earn while you learn and prepare for a career in the trades. Students may be eligible to receive up to $1333 training grant while in the Program.

This 12 week Program will explore 4 different Red-Seal trade areas: Automotive Service Technician, Carpentry, Culinary Arts and Welding, in addition to essential and employability skills training and industry certificates.  Learn about Trades opportunities. Work on the skills you need to be successful in the trades, gain employment skills and secure funding for a career in the trades.

What Industry Certificates are included?

  • FoodSafe
  • Forklift Operation
  • WCB Level 1 First Aid
  • Flagging

What happens after the Program?

Program graduates who meet the requirements for Trades training in Powell River could possibly receive a TUITION Funding for Trades Training Programs offered at the Powell River campus. Seats are limited.  Worker shortages in the trades mean good opportunities for great jobs now.  Apply today and get started on a successful satisfying well paid job in the trades.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for application, all participants must fall into one of the following two categories:

a) Unemployed individuals who are determined to be non-EI clients.  Non-EI clients are individuals who do not currently qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and have not been in receipt of EI benefits within the past three years (or five years for those who received maternity or parental benefits)

b) Employed individuals who are determined to be low skilled, in particular, employed individuals who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized certification or who have low levels of literacy and essential skills.

To determine your eligibility, please review the LMA Eligibility  criteria at: http://www.itabc.ca/aboriginal-people-trades/funding-eligibility

3 steps to Admission

  1. Determine Eligibility by completing the LMA Eligibility Form available at VIU, Powell River campus
  2. Submit an Application and resumé to VIU
  3. Attend an interview with the Program Instructor at a date to be determined.

Who may I contact for more information?


  • Front office 604.485.2878


  • Sandy Elvy
    Administrative Coordinator
    Sandy.Elvy@viu.ca / (604)485-8027

Visit www.pr.viu.ca/aittwitt  for more information

Earn while you learn! Up to $1,333.00 in Training Grant Funding available.

Water Cooler August 2014: Baby Boomers – should they stay or should they go?

babyboomersBy Melany Hallam

Take the Water Cooler Survey now at http://www.careerlinkbc.com/blog.php

Should baby boomers retire to make room for younger workers?

  • Absolutely, they’ve had it too good for too long
  • Heck no, they’re the backbone of our economy
  • Jobs should be given to the best qualified candidates, no matter what age
  • What’s a baby boomer?

Who are baby boomers?

People born in the 20-year period between the end of World War II (1946) and about 1965, are considered baby boomers. Economic conditions improved quickly after the war ended and, at the same time, there was trend toward larger families. The resulting cohort of baby boomers has had a great deal of influence over Canada’s economy and society and continues to do so as they age and retire. In 2011, the oldest of the baby boomers turned 65. Very soon, according to Statistics Canada, the number of Canadians older than 65 will be greater than the number of children, for the first time in history.

Why are boomers working longer?

A large number of boomers have not been able to save or invest enough to live comfortably in retirement. There are many reasons for this. Taking from her own experience, Marie Engen describes a typical boomer financial timeline on the website Boomer and Echo explaining this phenomenon:

  • Many boomers were brought up by parents who grew up during the Depression and were, therefore, very thrifty. These boomers grew up with a lack of material things.
  • In the 80’s, when boomers were entering the job market and beginning to buy homes, inflation and interest rates went through the roof. Mortgage rates went as high as 24% – and these were mainstream banks!
  • And then came Chargex, the precursor to the Visa card. Suddenly they had credit (at the same exorbitantly high interest rates as the mortgage rates above), and could buy all of those things they couldn’t have when they were growing up.
  • Needless to say, all of their ready cash went to paying interest on loans and credit cards. Saving just did not happen.
  • Once boomers realized that investing was imperative to retirement, many went deep into mutual funds. And then there was the market crash of 1987, the “Asian Flu” in 1998, the tech stock collapse in 2000 and, more recently, the mortgage fiasco in 2008. Mutual fund investors had great difficulty rebounding from all of this. So, still no savings.
  • RRSPs were introduced in 1957 but, even today, only 25% of Canadian tax filers make RRSP contributions. These days, investors are lucky to get 4%, while boomers’ parents were receiving 14% and more on their investments and could afford to retire on their own savings.
  • There are social programs such as CPP to support retirees. However, CPP is funded by people who are currently working, and the number of seniors in Canada will soon be larger than the workers supporting it. Boomers saw their parents being supported by social programs in their old age, but are unlikely to receive that same level of support in their own retirement.

I could go on, but let’s stop there. This list is a generalization, but you get the idea.

What next?

The generations coming up behind the boomers (generations X, Y and Z, the internet generation) are in line for their jobs when the boomers retire. The common belief is that this means that they could be waiting longer get a job and waiting longer for promotions at work. But this may not be true and, in fact, the news isn’t all negative. Here are some ideas and surprising facts on employment for younger generations:

  • According to a 2012 study by the Centre for Retirement Research at Boston College in the US (http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/IB_12-13-508.pdf), the greater number of older persons employed led to better outcomes for the young, including reduced unemployment and a higher wage.
  • Skills and knowledge can be passed along by seniors who stay on past age 65, making the transition to younger, less experienced workers much smoother in the long term.
  • Semi-retired boomers may be looking for more part-time work. This could result in a greater number of part-time jobs options for everyone (if you’re looking for that kind of work schedule).
  • Older workers may not keep up with technology as well as younger people do, so promoting your own technology skills and knowledge could mean better job opportunities.
  • A representative at TalentEgg.ca, a popular job and career resource website for students and recent graduates in Ontario, argues that one of the greatest barriers to employment for younger workers isn’t boomers, but employers’ perception of Generation Ys as lazy or entitled.
  • Boomers who work longer are still earning and are, therefore, buying and consuming at rates greater than your typical retiree. This is good for the economy and the job market in general.


The bottom line

In the end – whatever generation you’re part of – everyone’s situation is unique. But one thing won’t change: large numbers of boomers will be retiring from now up until 2030, when the youngest of them turn 65. It’s a fact that all of us – younger generations, boomers, employers, government – will be living with, whether we want to or not. Deal with it. Or, even better, make it work for you!




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