Why would you employ a young adult with disabilities through the LEAD project?

I will start by answering the first part of the question: “Why would you employ a young adult with disabilities?” – because this person can be a reservoir of skills and talent, who could bring added value to your company, once you have overcome the obstacles that may have arisen due to stereotyping, misperceptions and unfamiliarity, to draw out the best from this potential employee.

Studies show that teams which include people with disabilities often see improved productivity levels, and staff turnover is lower as a result.For example, employers whose activities include trade (supermarkets), services (cleaning) and the hospitality industry, reported that the integration of people with disabilities have improved staff retention.These people are loyal and dedicated, often because they are not given many opportunities to work and live an independent life.Many employers have reported increased profits as a result of hiring people with disabilities, especially through reduced costs in not having to recruit, employ and train new workers.

Collaborating with a person with a disability is an experience that can contribute to improving skills such as: project management, coaching, leadership, and stakeholder engagement. In addition to this, you will often discover that the adjustments needed by disabled people in the workplace are beneficial to many of your team members. Also, by supporting the local community and proving that you lead a socially responsible organisation, you will attract new customers/consumers, shareholders, and investors, another clear business advantage.

I would like to highlight two more important issues. Firstly, a worker with a disability can perform a workplace activitywith the same productivity as a worker without a disability.It is true that they may need some adjustments to facilitate their performance and professional success, but these are usually not as expensive as it is often assumed. Secondly, hiring a person with a disability does not mean that they will be absent for a large part of the time because most people with disabilities enjoy the same levels of good health as any other worker.

Furthermore, companies which employ people with disabilities may benefit from significant facilities and tax incentives. These will differ from state to state; for example, in Romania, a subsidy of 2250 lei / month (approximate 460 EUR) is granted for a year and a half, for each person with disabilities who graduated an education institution, employed, with the obligation to maintain working relations for at least 18 months.

To return to the second part of the question: “Why through the LEAD project?” – this is because using our Supported Employment program, you do not pay the costs to identify, recruit and integrate the employee; costs estimated at about 600 EUR/person.

It is important to emphasise that Supported Employment differs from ordinary models of placement, because it supports both the candidate and the employer. Candidates benefit from vocational profiling, counselling to develop improved self-confidence; preparing for a job in line with their professional training and interests, developing their working skills, attitudes, behaviours and functional abilities to successfully achieve their employment goals, through in-work and outside work support. So, you can be sure that the young adults who are recommended by our specialists have the skills for your employment positions, and they will be constantly monitored and supported during the integration process if you decide to hire them.

Your company also benefits from specialist assistance during the integration process of the new employee at the workplace. Our Supported Employment specialist works with your team members in order to identify the problems which can appear and to solve them, and in order to help them communicate constructively with our young adults.

Last but not least, our Supported Employment specialist provides you with comprehensive information on eligibility, rules and procedures to get the financial benefits available to employers who integrate young adults with disabilities, as well as the support in order to actually benefit from these advantages.

There are therefore strong economic and social reasons to employ people with disabilities. Moreover, esteemed entrepreneurs, you are no longer alone during the process of integrating workers with disabilities. You have at your disposal financial tools, educational support, and Supported Employment specialists to assist you in solving bureaucratic procedures, and throughout the process of hiring, adapting and training a worker with disabilities. In this context, if you intend to expand your team, I invite you to consider hiring one or more young adults with disabilities. We, LEAD team from Romania, Lithuania, and Portugal, with the support of our Expert Partner from United Kingdom, are by your side! Furthermore, the complex services I have set out are offered to you free of charge because LEAD project is co-funded by the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

It’s time to contact us! My colleagues and I are at your disposal!

Nicolae Dobrescu


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