Identification Of Skills Gaps Among Persons With Disabilities And Their Employment Prospects
This report has been peer reviewed prior to publication. The authors are solely responsible for the content and the views expressed.
In 2013, the Irish Government published its National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan 2013-2015. As part of this strategy, a number of goals were set around participation, including job access for people with disabilities. This specific objective recommended a number of actions, including the commitment to publish a comprehensive employment strategy (CES) for people with disabilities. This strategy, the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, was published in 2015 for the period 2015-2024. The objective of this strategy, which is cross-governmental, is to support people with disabilities in accessing the labour market.
Building on existing actions in the CES, the National Disability Authority (NDA) commissioned the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to undertake quantitative research into the workplace skills and abilities of persons with disabilities. To undertake this research, a number of nationally representative data sources were utilised to characterise the skills/educational endowments and gaps among persons with disabilities compared to those without. Specifically, data from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), the Census of Population, and the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) were examined. Where the data permitted, we differentiated those with a disability by type, everyday difficulties (e.g. difficulty dressing), and/or severity level. We also examined the employment characteristics of people with disabilities compared to persons without, and investigated the impact of having a disability on an individual’s employment prospects. What follows is a summary of the principal findings from this research, including some discussion on future directions.