Unemployed disabled young persons in Extremadura: initiatives for their inclusion in the general job market

Once covered the situation of the young immigrants in Extremadura, as done on the article published on the July issue of the Youth Employment Magazine, it is time to focus on the employment situation of young disabled people in the region. Even though during the second trimester of 2021 the general hiring rate of women in the region increased up to a 59.90% while the hiring rate for men went up to 23.93%, and the hiring rate for people under 30 increased in comparison with the hiring rate of people over 45 (46.96% vs 30.48%), the general unemployment rate of Extremadura was of 19.15%, higher than the national average of 15.26%.

Diving into the situation of young disabled people in the region, according to the data provided by the National Public Employment Service, SEPE by its acronym in Spanish, even though the number of employed disabled people has gone from 1491 people in the second trimester of 2020 to 2220 people by the end of the second trimester of 2021, so has done the number of unemployed disabled people, going from 2977 to 3065 people by the end of June 2021. These are not bad figures after all, there is a great increase of the number of disabled people that got hired in comparison with the same period of 2020, when the pandemic and subsequent quarantine started in Spain. The problem comes when disaggregated and compared between one another, as we can see that there is a big gap between the number of men (995) and women (493) with disabilities hired during this period; and between the number of contracts made to people under 25, with only 141, in comparison with those done to people over 45, with 1128 contracts made.

In order to tackle this inequality and to promote the inclusion in the job market of young disabled people in Extremadura, there are several initiatives and project being currently implemented in the region. Some of them are being implemented by public institutions and civil societies, such as the incentives for hiring people with disabilities in the labor market promoted by the regional government of Extremadura, or the initiatives “Emplea Tu Talento” and “Transforma Tu Talento” (roughly translated into English as “Use Your Talent” and “Transform Your Talent” respectively) of Inserta Empleo and Fundación ONCE.

These two initiatives from Fundación ONCE aim to create a network of young disabled people and companies interested into hiring them and motivate these people from the network to actively get formal training while being mentored by specialists in the field of employment and entrepreneurship. The ultimate goal of these initiatives is to improve the hiring rate of young disabled people either by helping them create their own business and becoming self-employing or by helping them get hired by various companies in the territories.

These initiatives have proven successful when working directly with disabled people, but there are also some efforts being made to improve their integration and the quality of their work in public and private entities. Things like the INSERTA programme, mainly focused on private companies, try to implement more inclusive policies based on the idea of Social Corporate Responsibility. By developing strategic projects and policies, the companies participating in the INSERTA programme have improved their services, making them more accessible and inclusive towards disabled people and, in general, improving their inclusion in the job market.

From FUNDECYT-PCTEX we have noticed that even though there are considerable efforts being made towards the total inclusion of disabled people in the job market, few of the policies analyzed for the writing this article are aimed specifically towards young disabled people. The is a dire need of transversal inclusive policies that have a very defined gender-based approach. In recent times there has been a shift of the immediate needs of our societies, as inequality grew uncontrollable and the poverty soared. It is crucial that we do not steer away from the inclusion of minorities that are getting more and more vulnerable and fragile in the global situation that we are currently facing. And this is an effort that we must do together.