The European Commission and the Spanish ONCE Foundation recently published two reports on EU funded projects related to labour market integration of people with disabilities (PWD) and mainstreaming disability dimension in the European agendas. The reports contain good practices and show how mainstreaming disability can be driven forward inside and outside the EU.
In his report „Monitoring good practices in the areas of employment, social affairs and inclusion“ the European Commission reviews good practice examples of projects supported by the Programmes EURES and PROGRESS in the years 2012-2015. One of these projects, called „Learnabil-IT“, aimed at promoting mutual learning and cooperation between labour market and vocational education and training (VET) providers in the ICT sector for people with disabilities. The specific objectives included promotion of the employability of PWD, supporting greater labour skills match and fostering a better VET service delivery and a more productive ICT work force.
People with disabilities still face many obstacles and disadvantages with regard to labour market integration while many growing sectors –such as the ICT sector– are in need of qualified workers; this is the starting-point of the “Learnabil-IT”-project. It was established to provide quality training to PWDD, while at the same time matching their skills with employment opportunities.
The project tried to reach this goal by identification, analysis and mutual exchange of best practices regarding collaboration mechanisms between employers and their representatives, VET service providers for people with disabilities and PWD themselves. Four Case Studies are presented as good practices on the project website, including the European Disability Forum and Microsoft joint advocacy initiative or the Cooperation of The Specialists and SAP: training and employment for people with autism.
As a result oft he project, the report finds that there was higher correspondence between training offered to PWD and the skills needed by employers in the ICT sector. This improvement will – in the long term – contribute to better-skilled candidates and higher employment rates of PWD. In addition, the VET providers had the opportunity to improve their cooperation with employers towards more successful employment of people with disabilities. Furthermore, employers who collaborated with VET providers felt more confident in hiring PWD.
The Spanish ONCE Foundation also recently published a report called “Partnerships for Disability – Together towards a more inclusive Europe“ which summarises the achievements of the Transnational Cooperation activity in the area of PWD. The activities were embedded in the framework of the Operational Programme Fight against Discrimination 2007-2013 and co-funded by the European Social Fund.
With its multi-stakeholder-approach the Transnational Cooperation aimed at favouring exchange, participation and transfer of best practices among different types of entities, including public administrations, multinational companies like Telefónica or L’Oréal, as well as entities representing PWD. It was focused on areas which are strategic for the improvement of accessibility, the professional qualification and the employment of people with disabilities. The report summarises the achievements in the areas of Research and Analysis, Exchange of experiences, Contribution to the design of public policies, Awards and Recognitions as well asCommunication and Dissemination.
The EU Commission report can be downloaded on this website.
The ONCE Foundation report is available here.