Up to 90% of people with disabilities are unemployed. How do we solve this crisis?

Unlocking talent, beyond compliance, beyond limitations.

May 6, 2024

Up to 90% of people with disabilities are unemployed. How do we solve this crisis?

Unlocking talent, beyond compliance, beyond limitations.

Living with a disability comes with unique challenges, particularly in accessing education and employment opportunities. For hearing-impaired individuals, as an example, challenges range from physical accessibility and employment discrimination to the complexities of understanding multiple local sign language dialects, which can leave them vulnerable to exploitation.

Consider this: South Africa’s national disability prevalence rate stands at 7.5% and according to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate amongst youth in 2023 was more than 50%. In contrast, unemployment rates for youth with disabilities are estimated  to be between 80% - 90%.

How can we all lighten the load together and create sustainable talent pipelines that can help people with disabilities enter and thrive in the workplace?

Effective preparation for the workplace is essential, and it needs to address skill gaps through tailored learning opportunities. Often, necessary upskilling or adjustments are minor, requiring only targeted support. Equally important is the alignment between candidates and suitable job descriptions, coupled with a workplace environment that accommodates specific disabilities. It's essential that colleagues receive proper training to foster an inclusive atmosphere and seamlessly integrate individuals with disabilities into the team.

Our disability learnerships are structured learning programmes that provide people with disabilities opportunities to gain knowledge, valuable skills, and workplace experience.  This empowerment enables them to achieve personal and professional success, whether through securing employment or starting their own businesses. Employers benefit as well; they achieve  B-BBEE points on their scorecards, can receive tax rebates, and can employ talented, deserving individuals, matched correctly to the organisation’s talent needs. It's a win-win scenario that promotes diversity, drives economic growth, and strengthens the fabric of our workforce.
At Inqubeko, we collaborate with passionate, best-in-class partners to craft solutions that unite learners, educational institutions, and corporate clients. Our mission is to help our clients create sustainable talent pipelines that contribute to their talent recruitment and retention strategies.

Our learnerships tailored for people with disabilities offer:

Skills development: Providing people with disabilities the opportunity to acquire market appropriate skills and enhance existing ones thereby increasing their employability.

Workplace integration: Learnerships facilitate the seamless integration of disabled individuals into the workforce, offering on-the-job training and support. We also recognise the need to sensitise fellow employees to the challenges faced by these individuals and provide solutions to improve workplace integration.

Access to support services: Learnerships often offer access to support services like assistive technologies and job coaching, which can help people with disabilities succeed in the workplace.

Hypothetical Case Study:

Lerato is a hearing-impaired person who has a passion for technology. She used the disability learnership opportunity, and after passing her final assessment, she landed her first IT job. Initially, she thrived, but as her workload increased, she struggled with fast-paced conversations and technical discussions, feeling excluded and isolated.

Fortunately, her direct manager recently attended the disability awareness training and, after speaking to her, was able to make recommendations about advanced assisted devices and could guide her team members to create a more inclusive working environment. Lerato soon was able to share in the office banter and contribute meaningfully in meetings and workshops, and became a well-respected member of the team.

For more information about our disability focussed training programmes, please get in touch with our team at info@inqubeko.com.

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