Skills Development and Employment



Single parents, recent immigrants, people with disabilities, and indigenous people experience higher unemployment rates and are at a higher risk of experiencing low income.


Canada will have 1.3 million skilled labour jobs vacant by 2016.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce ranks skills shortages as #1 on a list of top ten barriers to Canadian competitiveness, which costs the economy billions of dollars annually


LIFT invests in programs that help vulnerable and at-risk Canadians achieve sustainable and meaningful employment. In particular, we focus on people with barriers to employment, above average unemployment rates, or under-representation in skilled jobs, including indigenous Canadians, at-risk youth, women, newcomers to Canada, and those with disabilities or mental health challenges.


Groupe Convex

Groupe Convex generates meaningful jobs through business projects for residents who face employment challenges. They employ close to 150 individuals with a range of skills and employment challenges. These individuals work for eight social enterprises that Convex manages. Convex has built a network of clients who do business with them because their mission is noble and they offer quality products and services.

Neil Squire

The Neil Squire Society (NSS) helps Canadians with disabilities remove barriers so they can live independent lives and become active members of the workplace and our society. They empower clients through the use of computer-based assistive technologies, research and development, and various employment programs. With support from, the society recently developed LipSync, a mouth-controlled input device to enable people with little or no hand movement to operate a touchscreen device. With the help of many students, engineers, and volunteers, 320 LipSyncs were built in in 2017.

Women Building Futures

Women Building Futures trains woman who are interested in careers in construction and heavy equipment operation. It inspires economic prosperity for women by connecting them with apprenticeship and employment opportunities. Since partnering with LIFT, the organization has secured more than $3.6 million in new funding. Read more about our work with Women Building Futures.

Furniture Bank

Furniture Bank distributes donations of gently used furniture and household goods to people who have recently transitioned out of homelessness, such as women and children escaping abusive situations, refugees, and newcomers to Canada. Read more about our work with Furniture Bank.

Rise Asset Development

Rise is an Ontario-based charity that provides low interest small business loans, training, and mentorship to entrepreneurs with mental health or addiction challenges, who face barriers to employment, so they can pursue self-employment opportunities. Read more about our work with Rise Asset Development.

Immigrant Access Fund

The Immigrant Access Fund (IAF) supports newcomers equipped with excellent professional skills and knowledge, but face significant barriers to employment. IAF helps these individuals contribute their expertise to Canada’s economic and social success by providing character-based micro loans of up to $10,000 to internationally trained immigrants through funding by private and public sectors.

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