Minister McGrath addresses the DFI National Conference

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Minister McGrath addresses the DFI National Conference: Make it Work: Employment and People with Disabilities


Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, today (Monday, 21st November 2016), addressed a conference organised by the Disability Federation of Ireland for people with disabilities, their families, their organisations and policymakers relating to employment and people with disabilities.

Speaking on the theme of the Conference "Make it Work", Minister McGrath said that people with disabilities are only half as likely to be in employment as their peers of working age.

From the outset, young people with disabilities are at a disadvantage and are likely to start out with lower employment rates. While people with disabilities in their late-20s and early-30s do take up work in significant numbers, their employment rates are considerably lower than their non-disabled peers. The gap widens with age, as people with disabilities are more likely to drop out of employment faster than their peers.

The Minister added that there is a need to redouble our efforts in implementing the comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities, which was launched just over a year ago.

In speaking about the activities of the Department of Social Protection, Minister McGrath noted that the Department of Social Protection provides a range of work related supports for people with disabilities, which are designed to support increased participation in the labour force by people with disabilities.

Next year, the combined cost of these programmes is estimated to be in the region of €54 million, which will represent an increase of over 150 per cent since 2012, when a number of schemes came under the remit of the Department of Social Protection.

This total includes the Budget 2017 measure secured by Minister McGrath, which provides €2 million for a “pre-activation” programme for people with disabilities. The objective of this measure is to provide support across a range of activities that will assist young people with disabilities to obtain and sustain employment.

Minister McGrath continued "2017 will need to see an acceleration in the rolling out of actions contained in Comprehensive Employment Strategy and, indeed, in the Programme for Government and I will continue to do my very best to ensure that people with disabilities who are able to, and want to work, are supported and enabled to do so."

Concluding, Minister McGrath congratulated the DFI in hosting the event and wished participants every success in their future endeavours.


Last modified:21/11/2016