People with disabilities are only half as likely to be employed than those without, Employment Affairs & Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty said today.
The Minister was speaking at the Government launch of an extensive consultation on how the Department supports people with disabilities to obtain and retain employment.
The purpose of the consultation is to engage with people with disabilities, parents of children and young adults with disabilities, and sectoral representatives, on proposals relating to early engagement with people with disabilities, in line with recommendations contained in the 2017 Make Work Pay report.
The report recommended reconfiguring the Disability Allowance scheme for new entrants to give effect to the principle of early intervention.
Speaking at the launch Minister Doherty said: “People with disabilities are still only half as likely to be in employment as others of working age. Census 2016 figures show that the employment rate for people with disabilities of working age is 37%, compared to a rate of 73% for people of working age without a disability.
“From the outset, young people with disabilities are likely to start out with lower employment rates. While people with disabilities in their late-20s and early-30s do take up work in significant numbers, employment rates are considerably lower than their non-disabled peers.
"The gap widens with age; people with disabilities are more likely to drop out of employment sooner than their counterparts."
“Bringing people with disabilities into employment has huge benefits for everyone involved. It is an opportunity to tap into the substantial talent pool available within the cohort of people with disabilities. There are many positive effects from having a more diverse and cohesive workforce.”
- Digital desk