Inclusive Job Design: a paradigm shift

An increasing number of people face challenges entering the open labour market. This is especially true for people with disabilities and/or low level qualifications. They often face a future without realistic chances of participating in the world of work. For them it is difficult to find a job that matches their qualifications and competencies. 

These problems exist in a number of countries, and it is therefore that service providers and educators of people with disabilities are looking for new strategies to create more opportunities in entering and participating in the labour market. Up until now, traditional strategies have mainly focussed on the individual student with a disability. Strategies focussing on the added value for the employer are rarely used or even neglected.

The assumption is that a new strategy, of focussing on the employer and focussing on the added value for the employer, will increase the opportunities for students with disabilities and those with low formal qualifications. This requires a paradigm shift.

This new strategy of creating jobs that benefit employers, is called Inclusive Job Design. Inclusive Job Design is a comprehensive term for an employer-oriented method to create sustainable employment for people with disabilities whose chances of competitive employment are limited, especially when they have a low level of qualification and limited competencies. The method of Inclusive Job Design implies the re-designing of work processes, analysing and splitting the job activities of existing jobs into various levels of complexity. The aim of this method is to create a positive business case for employers and at the same time to create inclusive employment opportunities for students with disabilities.

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