Overall 35 million people aged 15–64 (11.0 %) in the EU-28 reported a disability in employment, nearly 10 million fewer than the number who had reported a basic activity difficulty. Close to half of all disabled people (47.3 %) in the EU-28 in 2015 were retired, while a further fifth (20.3 %) were economically inactive for reasons other than retirement: the latter included school children, students, people who are not in the labour force because they are caring for other people (for example children and/or older family members), and anyone else who by choice or for another reason is not in the labour force. Between one quarter and one fifth (22.7 %) of people with disabilities were employed, while one in ten (9.7 %) were unemployed; as such just under one third (32.4 %) of all people with disabilities aged 15 and over were in the labour force (either employed or unemployed).
In particular fewer than 1 in 2 people with disabilities (PwD) were in employment in EU (EUROSTAT, EU28, July 2014). Unemployment rates of people with disabilities (In Portugal 41,2%, in Belgium 40,7%, in Turkey 41,1%, in Slovenia 47%, in Lithuania 40,4% and in Bulgaria 51,2%) shows particular deficiency of impact of the existing career support services. Existing approaches for vocational guidance and training are hindered by inadequate coordination between responsible public entities and key players in the labour market, each of whom responds rigidly to different parts of the labour inclusion process.
The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD) recognizes in Article 27 “the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities”.
In addition the European Disability Strategy (EDS) 2010-2020, “A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe”, (European Commission, Nov. 2010) defined employment and accessibility of labour market as one of the 8 areas of action. On this basis member states are required to offer accessibility to the labour market for people with disabilities and provide support models (as JobCircuit) that will enable their long term paid and sustainable employability.
The transnational approach of our project is coming from the national reports on the employment of people with disabilities in European countries which provides evidence of impact gaps towards provision of successful measures that enables the labour market inclusion of people with disabilities in recent years. This includes the need of initiatives that support PwD right to an interview, assistance in adaptation of the workplace, employer incentives/subsidies, rights to flexible working, suitable job matching, guidance and mentoring at workplace, support for self-employment, etc.
Although many initiatives have been taken (mentoring, on-the-job support, supported employment coaching etc.), toward the labour market integration of people with disabilities, the project consortium highlights that there is still a need for enhancement of the way that the PwD are prepared to apply for a job as well as the way to attract potential employers and especially improvement of the on-the-job follow up and support. Indeed, there is a relative lack of information about the types of jobs and sectors that PwD are employed in, not least because many disabled people employed in the ordinary labour market are not recognized or measured in reported figures, e.g. because they are not recorded as having work limitations nor does not have reliable job matching.
Professionals involved in the career guidance provision.
Unemployed people with disabilities.