Employer-driven job creation for people with intellectual disabilities
- Lev - Inclusion Denmark
- Country of Implementation
- Northern Europe
- Start Year
- First published
“With my KLAPjob I don’t sit at home bored. I have good workmates who make me more social and outgoing.” Mathias Dam Nielsen, 26-year-old McDonalds employee
Lev - Inclusion Denmark is a Danish advocacy organization working to improve the living conditions of people with intellectual disabilities. LEV’s KLAPjob project forms partnerships with a variety of companies to identify and advertise jobs on the open labour market. People with intellectual disabilities are then supported to apply for and undertake interviews with the aim of gaining meaningful employment. From 2014 to 2019, KLAPjob has successfully supported people into 3,684 jobs.
Municipal job centres in Denmark do not have legal obligations towards people with intellectual disabilities, and many continue to work in sheltered workshops.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
KLAPjob works with employers to identify part-time unskilled service jobs meeting certain conditions, such as shorter working hours or a single supervisor. The jobs are advertised on public job websites. KLAPjob promotes the websites to persons with intellectual disabilities, and supports applicants and companies with the application process, interviews, and paperwork. Persons with intellectual disabilities in Denmark receive disability benefits to cover their basic needs. KLAPjob employees sign regular employment contracts and receive a salary that increases their disability benefits by up to 25 per cent, depending on their working hours. Employees can also join a labour union at a favourable rate. The project emphasizes the importance of choice and supports applicants to find the job that best suits them, resulting in a retention rate of 65 per cent after two years. Further, 80 per cent of employees have expressed satisfaction with their work and many report an improvement in health and social abilities.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
KLAPjob is funded by grants from the Social Reserve Fund under the Ministry of Employment, with an annual budget of €1.5m. KLAPjob aims to continue increasing the number of people obtaining jobs in the open labour market, focusing on those aged 18 to 25. Internationally, they hope to continue their co-operation with the Norwegian organization Arbeid og Inkludering (Work and Inclusion). The organization is in talks with potential Hungarian partners regarding possible replication . In addition, it is in dialogue with Inclusion International and local partners on their employment programmes in Uganda and Myanmar.
THE STORY OF MATHIAS, MARIA, AND EMIL: YOUTHS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES AND BENEFICIARIES OF KLAPJOB
“The person I am now is different from when I first started.”
KLAPjob helped Mathias to get a job as a service assistant in a local supermarket, where he has been for the past three years. Mathias likes his job because it gives him a feeling of being part of the ordinary labour market. “We can all do different things,” he notes. “The person I am now is different from when I first started. I like to feel I’m using my body – I can move many things within an hour. I’m also more disciplined and better at getting up in the morning.” Maria got a job through KLAPjob as a stable assistant and works with horses at a riding club. “First I was an intern in the riding club. They wanted to test me and see what I could do,” she explains. “Then I was actually employed, and now I have worked here for almost two years. My tasks are to groom and saddle the horses, to tidy up and sweep, and to make sure that all the horses are well cared for. I like to work. I don’t like to sit still.” Emil is sensitive to noise and not a very social guy. He prefers working alone, as he does at the bottle recycling room in the local supermarket. When Emil works he often listens to music with his headset. “I sort the bottles. And I can tell you that people really know how to drink. Especially after a football match! I like that my job is nice and quiet. When I first come into the room it can be full of bottles, but I can still manage to get it all done in time. I always know what to do. This really helps someone like me. It is just what I need.”