On Tuesday 22 September, Inclusion Europe organised the third online event as part of the project “My Talents. For Diversity”. This time, we invited Veronika Heribanová and Martin Lubojacký, job consultants at Rytmus (Czechia), to share their knowledge and experience with us.
Rytmus has years of experience working with supported employment to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market. In 2019, Rytmus helped forty job seekers with disabilities to find a job in Czechia.
How does Rytmus support job seekers with disabilities?
To help people with disabilities to find a job, Rytmus puts in place different procedures. Firstly, it organises individual meetings with people with disabilities where they can share their job preferences. Secondly, Rytmus helps them creating their CV and answering job offers. To do so, it uses social media to make first contacts with companies (LinkedIn) or to publish short articles presenting job seekers profiles and preferences (Facebook). Rytmus also organises networking sessions and business breakfasts to bring employers and job seekers together.
Building a strong collaboration with employers
“One of the biggest social challenges people with disabilities are facing is that companies are afraid to employ them”, said Martin Lubojacký.
That is why Rytmus collaborates not only with job seekers, but also with employers. Usually, Rytmus meets with companies to learn more about their business, values and hiring practices. Then, they launch the job selection procedure for people with disabilities. When it is concluded, Rytmus sets up meetings between employers and employees to personalise working conditions. Jobs are designed to meet preferences (including job tasks, working days and hours) and needs of each employee with disability.
Rytmus even implements what it called “job shadowing”. To give the chance to job seekers to have a better view of the job, Rytmus gives them the possibility to work from 1 to 3 days in the company before starting their new position. Job seekers also have the opportunity to meet self-advocates that are already working in the company to get a view from the inside. Once employees start their new job, Rytmus supports and coaches them during their inclusion in the company until they feel comfortable enough in their new workplace.
Coronavirus impact on employment of people with disabilities in Czechia
Workers with disabilities are highly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Most of them work in shops, restaurants, cafes that had to close during the lockdown.
“20% of employees with disabilities that we support lost their job due to COVID-19”, said Veronika Heribanová.
“Now, searching for a job has become even more complicated for people with disabilities, because companies are afraid to hire new employees in these difficult times”, explained Veronika Heribanová.
Watch the online event:
More information about the MTFD project here.