Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Department of Justice and Equality
Services for People with Disabilities
On Friday 2 October, I published a Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities. The Strategy sets out a ten-year approach to ensuring that people with disabilities who are able to, and want to, work are supported and enabled to do so. The Strategy is a cross-government approach that brings together actions by different Departments and State agencies in a concerted effort to address the barriers and challenges that impact on employment of people with disabilities. In tandem with that, it seeks to ensure there will be joined-up services and supports at local level to support individuals on their journey into and in employment.
The Strategy's six strategic priorities are:
- Build skills, capacity and independence
- Provide bridges and supports into work
- Make work pay
- Promote job retention and re-entry to work
- Provide coordinated and seamless support
- Engage employers.
While I cannot comment on individual circumstances, I can confirm that the Strategy includes a range of practical measures to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. For example, an employer help-line is being established by the National Disability Authority, there will be an increase in the pubic sector employment quota from 3% to 6% on a phased basis to 2024, and arrangements are being put in place for dedicated recruitment channels for people with disabilities. The implementation of the Strategy will be subject to regular monitoring, and there will be a review and renewal every three years.