Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today launched a new strategy to help people with disabilities achieve their full employment and career potential.
The ‘Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities’ focuses on helping and supporting people with disabilities overcome a wide range of barriers through their journey towards and into employment.
Addressing an audience at Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, Minister Farry said: “I welcome the opportunity to announce the launch of this new strategy, which is the product of collaborative partnership working between officials from my Department, the local disability sector and many other contributors, including people with disabilities and employers.
“The Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities contains themes and proposals that have been designed in partnership and that will be delivered in partnership. This strategy will help to address the inequalities and difficulties faced by people with significant disabilities, who want to work and are capable of doing so.
“In order to ensure that we build a truly successful and world-class economy, it is critical that we draw upon all of the talents in this society, and it is vital that we give every person the opportunity to develop to their full potential.”
The ‘Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities’ has five key themes:
- Supporting people into paid employment
- Job retention and career development
- Working with employers
- Research and development
- Strategic partnership and engagement
Other guest speakers at the launch included prominent members of the Strategic Working Group which helped to develop the strategy, Alison Long, Senior HR Adviser with Belfast City Council and Tony Reilly, a community and human rights activist for over 25 years, who is a member of the Northwest Forum of People with Disabilities and Disabled People’s Voices Northern Ireland.
The Minister thanked all those who have made a contribution to the development of the strategy and concluded: “People with disabilities share the same ambitions and aspirations as everyone else and, provided they are given the right support, advice and assistance, are more than capable of realising their full career potential and making a significant contribution to our economy.”
A copy of the strategy is available at: https://www.delni.gov.uk/consultations/employment-strategy-people-disabilities-consultation.