To mark today’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Minister of State for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath T.D. has published the Second Action Plan of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy.
The Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities 2015 – 2024 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 Comprehensive Employment Strategy Implementation Group, which monitors the implementation of the Strategy, has an independent chair, Mr. Fergus Finlay, and is co-ordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality.
The CES Implementation Group is made up of representatives from relevant Government Departments and Agencies, members of the Disability Stakeholders Group, employer and union representatives and other appropriate organisations.
The second Action Plan provides a focus for work of the Implementation Group for the next period in the lifetime of the Strategy. The plan included a range of actions to advance the strategic priorities which are to:
- 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
The Action Plan provides clear deliverables for each action and sets milestones so that implementation can be monitored by the Implementation Group.
People with disabilities are still only half as likely to be in employment as others of working age (between 20 and 65). The 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.
Minister McGrath said “The Government regards the Second Action Plan (2019 -2021) as a vital building block in the implementation of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy (CES). The CES is one important element of the overall Government disability policy. Accessing and staying in employment for people with disabilities is difficult but can be achieved with appropriate supports. It requires many Government services to work for that individual and importantly to work together to provide a joined-up service. If the Action Plan can make improvements in the area of employment it can lead to improvements across all areas.”