Enabling Young Persons with Disabilities: Inclusive Digital Skills Initiatives

BANNER - young people disabilities initiatives
Leave no young person behind in the digital age.
July 28, 2022
Inclusive Futures
Future of Skills
This post is co-authored by Laurent Freixe, Chief Executive Officer Zone Latin America (LATAM), Nestle, and Sarah Cheyne, Group VP Talent Experience, Inclusion and People Analytics at the Adecco Group. It was first published on Decent Jobs for Youth.

Young people and people with disabilities are among the most disadvantaged groups when it comes to getting a decent job and progressing in their careers. Unfortunately, when young age and disability are combined, the labour market situation is even more dire. The COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the challenges of the estimated 180 to 220 million young persons with disabilities around the world. In the first half of 2020,one out of six young persons were out of work and persons with disabilities were among the first who lost their jobs due to the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19. Young women with disabilities have experienced even more disproportionate effects than their male counterparts.

The companies we represent, the Adecco Group and Nestlé, have been acting to support young people with disabilities. For example, our companies are members of both the UN Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth as well as the ILO Global Business and Disability Network.

If we want to provide opportunities to some of the most marginalised in our societies, we can’t do it in isolation. Firstly, we need to, of course, partner with initiatives and networks like the ones facilitated by the ILO. Secondly, we seek to understand and address the intersecting identities of individuals, in this case people who are young and at the same time live with a disability.
The digitalisation of the global economy has further been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. From data visualisation and cybersecurity to big data analysis and blockchain technology, employers from all industries are keen to recruit and retain digitally skilled talent – and increasingly so, digitally skilled talent with disabilities. For more than one billion persons with disabilities across the globe, digital skills and accessible digital technologies allow access to information and services in daily life and provide opportunities for decent jobs in the digital economy.

However, most trainings that offer the acquisition of in-demand digital skills and certifications still fail to provide equitable opportunities and accessible materials for young persons with disabilities. This is often due to attitudinal, physical, technological, and informational barriers. To guide relevant stakeholders when it comes to making digital skills initiatives inclusive of young persons with disabilities, the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth published a policy brief to raise awareness and call for action on this issue.

Young persons with disabilities are more likely to benefit from an inclusive digital skills initiative when action is coordinated across all levels - governments, social partners, international organizations, policy-making bodies, and digital skills training providers, private sector employers and support organisations.

Read the full article here.