Project to create jobs for people with disabilities hampered by pandemic
The coronavirus crisis is hampering the project to create more jobs for people with occupational disabilities. The goal to create around 125 thousand jobs within five years is getting further and further out of sight, Aart van der Gaag, commissioner of the project, said to NOS.
"The momentum is gone. Until the beginning of the year, we were well on track. I still have hope that we will reach that 125 thousand, but the longer corona lasts, the more difficult it becomes," he said. "Then we won't reach 2026, it will be a few years later."
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, the number of jobs for people with occupational disabilities decreased instead of increased. Halfway through this year, the counter stood at 58 thousand. The goal was 67,500 this year, according to the broadcaster. "You simply cannot expect companies in the hospitality industry or a museum that is now closed to hire people. They are already having a hard time," Van der Gaag said.
Governments are still doing well in hiring people with an occupational disability, catching up in the backlogs on the agreement of recent years. The Tax Authority now employs 600 people with disabilities, for example. "They do all kinds of work, from tax specialist at the FIOD to cleaner. This year in particular we are focusing on administrative employees," a spokesperson for the Tax Authority said to NOS.
The trade association for social employment companies, Cedris, also noticed that the goal of the job agreement is getting further out of reach. "It's a tough time for the job deal," a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. "We see that, partly due to support measures from the governments, many employees are being retained, but employers are hardly willing to hire new people."