Target groups

The target groups included in the project proposal, as required by the Conditions of Application, are bound by the respective investment priority. Project 5: Disabled employees, incl. hired – a total of 230 and 7 employers included in the online survey, 4 focus groups and 6 in-depth interviews; 80 representatives of the target groups in Sofia and in the country, among whom the developed innovative model will be pilot tested; 150 employers and 150 employees involved in an online communication and training network with the IOC Large Scale Open Course.

People with disabilities make up about one billion or 15% of the world’s population. About 80% of them are of working age. However, the right of persons with disabilities to decent work is often discriminated against due to a number of physical and information barriers that hinder equal opportunities in the field of work. EU Labor Force Survey and findings on labor market participation in people with disabilities due to health problems / Labor market participation of people with work disabilities due to health problems, Findings from the EU The Labor Force Survey /, the employment rate of people with disabilities (15-64 years) in Bulgaria is only 17.7%, compared to the average rate of 35-40% of the other EU countries. In addition, our country is among the few other countries, such as Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Poland, with low social protection costs and low social assistance coverage available to people with disabilities, which are key to reducing extreme poverty.

In our country as of 31.03.2018 the number of unemployed people with disabilities looking for a job is 13 302 persons, of which 6539 are women. The row view shows a minimal increase in absolute numbers compared to the previous month. The share of persons with disabilities in the overall structure of the unemployed borrowed 5.7%, down from 5.5% in the previous month. The share of the unemployed with disabilities in the age group of persons over 50 is the largest – 61.8%. Over half of persons with disabilities have secondary education – 59.6%. Their professional structure is represented by 39.4% of persons without qualification and specialty, 37.1% have acquired a working profession and 23.5% are specialists. On the other hand, employment in traditionally risky economic sectors is higher than in EU countries. Occupational diseases and disabilities are mainly considered medically, although ten years ago the country adopted and introduced a new list of occupational diseases. The neglect of the topic by the heads of the companies brings new disabled people out of the labor market.

Integration of people with disabilities is a two-way process and access to the labor market should be considered a responsibility of both parties. In most cases, removing physical barriers to people with disabilities is a minor issue. The big problem is that most managers do not know where, how, or are afraid to communicate with people with disabilities, and they are the first to be met by job applicants. Employers’ attitudes are stigmatizing and, despite the lack of skilled workers in some industries, people with disabilities are highly neglected as a possible workforce.

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