- Kyle Bolt
avenueNB service delivery model aims to enhance disability employment services
The provincial government has introduced a new model of delivering employment services to people with disabilities. This model is the result of a partnership between service providers and the government, and aims to improve the quality, consistency and accessibility of these services.
The launch of avenueNB allows services to be delivered by external providers who are better positioned to understand and respond to the needs of clients. The co-operative, through its members, will be able to tailor programs and services to address gaps in services. This new approach is intended to increase access to educational opportunities and disability-specific services, and support employers in creating inclusive workplaces.
“This co-operative will provide strategic planning and contract management that will allow us to provide a standard level of service and help more clients,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “This revolutionary change will help ensure that more New Brunswickers who are living with a disability have a pathway to enter New Brunswick’s workforce.”
Previously, said Holder, the department managed contracts with more than 20 external service providers across the province, resulting in service delivery inconsistencies, gaps and significant bureaucracy.
AvenueNB will take over this role and work through a board of directors, consisting of sector stakeholders, that will be responsible for key decisions and annual planning. All service providers will become voting members.
“We are proud to have created the avenueNB co-operative, a collaboration between 22 professional agencies that work with persons with a disability,” said interim chair Charles Levasseur. “These agencies are crucial to providing people with training, tools, support and opportunities they may require to find fulfilling jobs within the New Brunswick labour market.”
“Too many persons with different types of disabilities remain unemployed or underemployed, even though they can and want to work,” said Randy Dickinson, chair of the Premier’s Council on Disabilities. “Getting a job and securing an income opens many doors for a good quality of life, and this new model should result in increased opportunities.”
Funding for avenueNB will be reallocated from money currently distributed through the department; those funds are provided by the federal and provincial governments through the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Agreements.