Employment Affairs & Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty T.D., and Minister of State with special responsibility for disabilities, Finian McGrath T.D., recently launched an extensive consultation on how the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection 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 9a and b, and 10, of the Make Work Pay report.
The Make Work Pay report, published in April 2017, was compiled following a commitment in the Comprehensive Employment Strategy to better identify how people with disabilities could take up work. The report’s recommendations included how the Disability Allowance payments and other schemes should be reconfigured for new entrants aged 18 and over to ensure that their work ambitions could be explored systematically at an early age.
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”.
The launch was held in Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, where the café, is a social enterprise run by WALK (Walkinstown Association for People with an Intellectual Disability), that supports and trains people who have disabilities for other employment. Both Ministers Doherty and McGrath visited the café and met some of the employees of this social enterprise.