€ 2.7 Billion for Participation in the Working Lives of People with Disabilities

The Federal Employment Agency (BA) is using the International Day of People with Disabilities as an opportunity to promote inclusion in the workplace. The BA budget for next year includes € 2.7 billion to support people with disabilities.

02 Dec 2020 | Press Release No. 52

The BA has earmarked some € 2.7 billion in the budget for next year to promote participation in the working lives of people with disabilities. That amounts to € 40 million more than this year. With this budget, the BA is supporting, for example, initial and advanced training for people with disabilities, integration grants to employers or vocational training services, provided, for example in workshops for disabled people.

“After the pandemic, we will once again be talking about skilled labour needs. People with disabilities are often well qualified and motivated. This is an opportunity for companies that are desperately seeking skilled workers,” says Christiane Schönefeld, Director of Human Resources and Finance.

Every Tenth BA Employee Severely Disabled

Employers with an average of at least 20 employees are required by law to employ severely disabled people in at least five percent of the jobs. The BA is well above the required quota. In 2019, 10.9 percent of employees were severely disabled. The inclusion of people with disabilities is part of the BA’s self-image. For this reason, it specifically recruits employees with severe disabilities. With the Inclusion Action Plan published in the spring, the BA presented an overall strategy for implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

People with Severe Disabilities Often Unemployed Longer

The labour market opportunities for people with severe disabilities differ from the overall average. It is true that unemployment in this group has risen less than overall unemployment since the lockdown in March. However, if people with severe disabilities become unemployed, it often takes longer for them to find employment again. When taking into account all unemployed people, unemployment ends on average after 128 days; for people with severe disabilities it’s 167 days.

In November, 172,000 people with severe disabilities were registered as unemployed, 14,000 (+9.1 percent) more than before the lockdown. In the same period, overall unemployment rose by 15.6 percent to 2.7 million.