The peculiarity of this analysis is that differently from other studies it is performed using the statistics of the employment status of people with disabilities drawn from administrative registers of the Member States.
The statistics from administrative registers show that people with disabilities are mainly part of those working age groups classified as unemployed or inactive; only a modest fraction is part of the employed working age population.
Nevertheless, the number of people with disabilities in ordinary employment has increased and that sheltered employment varies among the Member States. With regard to labour market measures the EU Member States have been going through a shift from passive measures towards (active) labour market integration policies.
The demographic trends and the resulting shrinking of the labour force in the future emphasize the importance of shifting from a passive compensation system to an active integration programme and making best use of the available workforce. People with disabilities can represent a significant addition to the labour force and thus contribute to economic production.
Many EU Member States have made an effort to break down the discrimination barriers with respect to disability and to consider these people as an integral part of society and the workforce, but more integrative measures and programmes have to emerge.
Annette Hexelschneider | alfa
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