Youth with Disabilities Forum and SeConS Development Initiative Group presented the findings of the research “Position of the youth with disabilities on the job market in the city of Belgrade”.

The research revealed that young people with disabilities who are active on the job market in Belgrade are somewhat more educated as compared to the same population in the rest of Serbia. On the other hand, since the enactment of the Law on Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, the employers have learned more about the possibilities of work engagement of persons with disabilities, and become more tolerant.

Research findings showed that a significant number of young persons with disabilities are active on the job market in Belgrade, are motivated, and feel capable of accomplishing work tasks. Local specialised schools follow trends on the job market, but the situation is not entirely good when it comes to the demand. According to this research’s findings, a specific niche has been created on the job market, as employers are seeking persons with milder disabilities, for whom there is a lesser need for adaptation during the consolidation into the workplace and the collective. Exceptions are big corporations which have been developing the standards for employing persons with disabilities through corporate social responsibility policy. They often have developed systems for their professional rehabilitation, which in many instances go beyond the standard set by the state.

As an outcome of the segregation of the youth with disabilities on the job market several negative consequences emerge. Youth with disabilities most often perform jobs below their qualifications. Sometimes employers wrongly perceive their work capability, and therefore assign them a lowered scope of work, as well as less demanding tasks. Most of these persons work temporary jobs, short term jobs, or those within public work or certain project-based activities. Among the youth with disabilities, long term employment is several times lower as compared to other young persons.

The research was conducted within a partner project with the Youth with Disabilities Forum, supported by the Ministry of youth and sports.