Minister Urges Employers To Support Those With Disabilities
Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry today delivered the closing address at ‘Making Equality Work – recruiting disabled people’, a conference aimed at promoting positive actions by employers in recruiting employees with disabilities.
The event, held in Belfast City Hall, was organised by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in collaboration with the Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast City Council, Employers for Disability NI and the Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment.
Minister Farry said: “Today’s event is another good example of effective partnership between government and business working to help and support people with disabilities and move towards and into employment. In an ever competitive market place, if businesses want the best people on their team, they cannot afford to ignore any of the talent pools available
“I am certain that the examples of good practice shared here today show what can be done, and that any perceived barriers to employment can be removed with the proper help, advice and support both for employers and employees. I encourage all local businesses to give full considerations to the potential for employing people with disabilities when recruiting staff.”
The conference was attended by a range of employers from across the private, public and voluntary sectors, and delegates heard directly from employers who have taken positive action to encourage applications for employment from people with disabilities and then recruit them. Employers present included Belfast City Council, Premier Inn, Cookstown District Council and Wright Bus, Ballymena.
The Minister concluded: “We all have a responsibility to provide everyone with the opportunity and support to give them the best possible chance to avail of employment and other opportunities that life has to offer. Staff in my Department’s Employment Service will continue to engage with employers to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities, to persuade them of the merits and benefits of giving people with disabilities a real chance in the workplace. My Department also has a range of programmes and services to help people with disabilities progress towards, find and retain employment, and these can be accessed through the Disability Employment Service or through specially trained Employment Advisers in local Jobs and Benefits offices.”