[WATCH] €3.3m project to train people with disabilities, families and employers

The project aims to increase the number of disabled persons working through training schemes, information campaigns and incentives

The project will provide specialised training for persons with disabilities, their families and front line workers, parliamentary secretary Aaron Farrugia said
The project will provide specialised training for persons with disabilities, their families and front line workers, parliamentary secretary Aaron Farrugia said
€3.3m project to train people with disabilities, families and employers announced

A three year €3.3 million project which will train 300 people with disabilities and 750 of their families, employers and front line workers, was announced today.

The EU funded 'INK' project will aim to increase disabled persons' social inclusion  participation in the workforce - which currently stands at only 4.5% - through training schemes, information campaigns and incentives, Aaron Farrugia, parliamentary secretary for European funds said.

"Ours is a progressive government which helps people not only through funds but also through legislation", he said, explaining that the government had increased social benefits for disabled people and is enforcing the rule requiring at least 2% of a company's employees to be persons with disabilities.

The initiative will see the development of six independent living hubs, one of which will be in Gozo, which aims to provide disabled persons and their next-of-kin with information, advice and training on how to achieve, regain or maintain an independent life, Farrugia said.

The project will provide specialised training for persons with disabilities, their families and front line workers, to help transition the disabled from school into the working world. Firms will also be trained to be better equipped to engage with the disabled.

As a result, the project will create an addition of 18 jobs in the social sector.

A campaign, through the use of TV and radio programmes, billboards, and two publications will be launched, with a view to raise awareness on disabled people's issues and help prevent social exclusion and poverty risk.

This will be coupled with four information packs giving information on how the disabled can be included in the labour market.

There will also be a measure, 'INK Recognition', meant to recognise firms employing disabled persons, as well as disabled people who work, and thus create an incentive for them to do so.

"We do not want to let anyone fall behind," parliamentary secretary for disability Anthony Agius Decelis sais.

"This project is one of the best we are undertaking as it will see a person in every aspect - the disabled persons themselves, their families and their employers and professionals in the sector."

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