Perspektiva presents research on the employment of disabled people
Nearly 2,000 disabled job applicants living in Moscow took part in this survey.
On 1 October, the capital hosted a meeting to discuss issues relating to the employment of disabled people. It was organised by Perspektiva, a regional NGO for disabled people, who presented the results of an analysis of the disabled persons’ employment market in Russia which it carried out with support from the Citi Foundation.
What the research covers
The study’s authors highlighted general trends in the employment of disabled people, examined the specifics of how the jobs’ system operates in Russia, as well as painting a picture of a potential employer. The research lasted 4.5 years and took into account the applicant’s age and disability group, education and dynamics of fluctuations in wages.
“The research allowed us to gain an appreciation of the market as a whole, to understand what has already been achieved and identify what further action is necessary to improve the quality of our services”, said Mikhail Novikov, Head of Perspektiva’s Employment Department.
Perspektiva has been in existence for 21 years, more than 13 of which have been devoted to helping disabled people find work. According to its Chairwoman, Denise Roza, most of her staff are disabled and so are all too aware of the sorts of problems encountered in the jobs market.
“Attitudes towards the disabled have changed significantly: universities are becoming more accessible and more employers are taking on these people. We provide an “initial leg-up”, after all it’s extremely important to show that the disabled are just like other people in wanting to live their own lives, to travel, to raise a family and realise their potential. We are seeing evidence of employers beginning to more readily and actively consider disabled applicants”, said Roza.
People between the ages of 18-50 with different types of disability apply to her organisation. In her view, help with employment isn’t simply about looking for work, it’s also about overcoming anxieties and uncertainty as much as changing lives for the better.
What parameters were taken into account
The study involved 316 company employers and 1,806 disabled applicants.
Commenting on the results, Novikov said “We are most successful in employing applicants up to the age of 35. From 36 upwards, the rate drops and the number of applicants becomes significantly higher than those who can be helped to find work.
According to Novikov, it is thought that those in the first and second disability groups are most difficult to employ than those in group three. However, Perspektiva’s experience shows that this not entirely the case, having themselves taken on 100% of applicants who were in group one.
As for the type of disability that affects successful applicants, it was easiest to find work for those with visual impairments, musculoskeletal diseases and amputees. The hardest group to hire were those with hearing problems and psycho-neurological illnesses.
The most successful applicants were those who had received higher education, with more than 70% of those applying to Perspektiva managing to find a job. The figures were significantly lower for people with secondary vocational and secondary general education, i.e. 18% and 9% respectively.
The study shows that computer skills and knowledge of the English language are not a priority for employers, although many applicants have enough basic knowledge of both. According to Perspektiva’” research, disabled people most often get jobs in retail, IT, industry and the business service sector. Its study shows that a disabled person’s average salary is around 30,000 roubles. “This is lower than the average rate in the capital but is a substantial amount of money nonetheless”, said Novikov.
Most of the applications received for closed vacancies came from small businesses (131) and large corporations (116). Perspektiva received 69 applications from medium-sized companies. According to the survey, 87.5% of employers asked remarked that their disabled staff worked just like their able-bodied counterparts.
“We have taken on 444 applicants over the past 4.5 years which is around a quarter of all those who applied. These were people who were able to secure jobs sent to us by businesses. We didn’t take into account those who found work on their own as a result of attending our various events and training sessions”, said Novikov.
According to Mikhail, organisations most often managed to hire young disabled people up to the age of 30 who had minimal work experience and with a higher education. 52% of all respondents believed that Perspektiva had helped them find their dream job, with 83% convinced that they wouldn’t have been able to find employment without its help.
“Our study of the labour market shows that Russian employers are ready to take on and train disabled people, as well as providing them with the right environment in which to work”, said Mikhail.