Conway welcomes publication of report on disability and the labour market

Fine Gael Press Office

Senator Martin Conway

Clare

Thursday, January 17th 2013

Conway welcomes publication of report on disability and the labour market

Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Disability and Equality, Martin Conway, has welcomed the publication of a new report on disability and the labour market by the ERSI and the Equality Authority. The report focuses on people of working age with a disability and examines the challenges they face participating in the labour market.

“I am delighted that this significant piece of work has been carried out, so that we as policy makers now have authoritative evidence on the nature and extent of discrimination rates for people with disabilities in participating in the labour market.

“The report finds that just 28% of people with disabilities of working age are in employment compared with almost two-thirds of people without a disability. Furthermore, people with a disability are more likely to have experienced discrimination. However, the report shows that there have been improvements in the area of discrimination, with a significant fall in the percentage of people with a disability who experienced discrimination between 2004 and 2010.

“The Government is committed to supporting people with disabilities to participate more fully in the labour market. Funding for the Disability Activation Project, which helps people with disabilities to access employment, has recently been increased. The initiative, which is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the Department of Social Protection, involves creating links between employers and people with disabilities to enable full participation in the labour market.

“This is one of a range of initiatives which are available to people with disabilities to help them gain much needed mainstream work experience in real jobs and real communities. The Willing Able Mentoring programme, which is also funded by the Department of Social Protection, is seeking to make employment practices disability friendly, and has to date provided work placements for over 175 graduates with disabilities with major employers in the Irish labour market.

“The findings of the report from the ESRI and the Equality Authority will inform the formulation of further policies in this area. While I have no doubt that there is considerable room to further improve participation rates, this Government is committed to supporting people with disabilities to participate fully in society and to facilitate the building of inclusive workplaces.”

ENDS

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