Employment of people with disabilities in public administration

Internship in public administration to facilitate vocational activation of people with disabilities. Translated into sign language by Tomasz Smakowski. Machine translation. [Noticed an error, please inform us].

Job placements in public administration to facilitate vocational activation of people with disabilities

Malgorzata Radziszewska:

– Thank you all for your patience. The Minister has already received a warm welcome. Mr. Minister Krzysztof Michalkiewicz, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Family Labor and Social Policy, Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled Persons’ Affairs. A warm welcome to you, Minister.

We also welcome Ms. Marlena Maląg, President of the Management Board of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities; Ms. Dorota Habich, Deputy President of the Management Board of PFRON for Program Affairs.

We especially welcome those who came to the meeting: representatives of the Prime Minister’s Office; directors general of ministries and offices. 

Applause is very welcome, yes.

The speakers, Mr. Dobroslaw Dowiat-Urbanski, Head of the Civil Service, and the panelists. Also present with us are employees of PFRON, who will provide you with information if necessary. I cordially invite Minister Krzysztof Michalkiewicz to take the floor. I hope there will be applause.

“Graduate”, “Stable employment”, “Work – integration” – programs to increase employment of people with disabilities

Minister Krzysztof Michalkiewicz:

– I extend a warm welcome to you. I especially welcome the CEOs of offices, ministries, agencies. I welcome the media. I will not greet my own colleagues, because it was perhaps a little awkward.

photo, on the left Minister Krzysztof Michalkiewicz, in the background on the screen the caption: "informational meeting. Professional internships in administration - facilitating vocational activation of people with disabilities. Stable employment program."
Minister Krzysztof Michalkiewicz on employment of people with disabilities

Ladies and gentlemen, I make no secret of the fact that we have been meeting recently because we want to get you interested in our programs to increase employment for people with disabilities. Vocational rehabilitation beyond all discussion is with what disabled people consider one of the most important things they need and fight for. This vocational rehabilitation, employment, is great rehabilitation on the one hand, but on the other hand, also a sense of self-worth, self-reliance and independence. And young disabled people nowadays, of course, need our support, but on the other hand, they want to owe as much as possible to themselves, they want to be evaluated for their skills, for their potential, for their commitment to work. They want to be active, also professionally active.

In today’s world, with today’s opportunities, more and more people, including those with severe disabilities, can work. I was at a conference on the social economy a few days ago, there the “I’m lying and I’m working Foundation” appeared as a good practice, and this is a foundation that precisely deals with those who, because of their disability, are people who are lying, but of course, in the leeching company, they can create websites, they can write posts, they can be active. And it turns out that after several years of operation of this foundation, this number of people with disabilities who work in this foundation is increased every year. And in fact, for these people, it turns out that professional activity is also possible.

“Active plus”

Within PFRON, the PFRON Supervisory Board, we have created programs to help employ people with disabilities. “Active plus” – three programs, important programs, which as new we have launched, or supplemented and updated, to better serve people with disabilities. 

The first is the “Graduate” program. We have the “Graduate” program – it helps people with disabilities get an education; it also helps financially to both pay for and support themselves during their studies. But we have found that often after graduation – and this is often an extra effort for them, an effort that is worth appreciating – they return to their small towns. And in this profession, which they struggled to acquire, in those places where they return, there is not necessarily an opportunity for employment. Hence the “Graduate” program, which is also intended to help them in those first months after graduation, to help them adapt, to help them find a job, to help them function in their new place of work, but also to help them support themselves until they start earning money, until those jobs begin to materialize.

The second program, which we will talk about today, is “Stable Employment.”

The third is “Work – Integration,” which we talked about a week ago, signing an agreement with Orlen, earlier with Enea, which helps large companies – not just large companies – create jobs for people with disabilities, and PRFON here invests heavily in making sure that these are good jobs, and that people with disabilities are prepared to function in these jobs. 

“Stable Employment”

Today we are going to talk about “Stable Employment,” which is a program aimed at facilitating and increasing the employment of people with disabilities in public administration. Every year at the Committee on Family, Labor and Social Policy, they quiz us: “How many government administrations employ people with disabilities?”. Well, and I’m ashamed to say that, having been an MP since 2005, every year those places we could boast about are either very few or nonexistent. In fact, over the years we have said that no Ministry meets the requirement of 6% employment of people with disabilities, and pays, of course, to PFRON. Which, on the one hand, is nice, because it gives us the opportunity to implement all these ambitious programs, but on the other hand, that’s certainly not the point. The point is that people with disabilities, who with great difficulty get an education, should also be able to work.

I will admit that this year we are proud. And here the Director General shows me – but I haven’t forgotten, I remember – that in our Ministry, for the first time this year we have 6%, we passed, we exceeded 6% employment, there is already 7% employment of people with disabilities. This is a good practice that we would like to boast about all the time. Of course, the Ministry is specific, because in those subordinate units of ours, we also have more than 6% employment of people with disabilities. I’m thinking of both PFRON – the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, and the Social Security Library, where there is also a library for the blind. And in these institutions we also have a large percentage of people who are disabled and who work. On the other hand, the fact that more than 7% of people with disabilities are already working in our Ministry is certainly something to be proud of.

I’ll tell such an anecdote that I was happy recently – they enter one Ministry, because I immediately saw that a person in a wheelchair was riding along the corridor. And so I think: “Actually ministries are changing. They are starting to hire people with disabilities.” Well, and passing through the gate, I started looking around for an elevator, well, because if there’s a person in a wheelchair, there are elevators too, right? It turns out that unfortunately there was no elevator, in this Ministry. So this person, in this wheelchair, could only function on the first floor. But the fact is that at the entrance, such a person in a wheelchair, it actually made a good impression.

Our meeting today is related to the fact that we have – as the Supervisory Board of PFRON – the “Stable Employment” program. He is dedicated precisely to the employment of people with disabilities in public administration. As you know, this is difficult. Once that until now, or before, often people with disabilities had trouble getting into university, functioning at university, completing their studies. At the moment, this barrier is long behind us. The second thing in the public administration – if in the private sector we subsidize the employment of people with disabilities, in the public sector there is a problem with this, for the reason that there can be no double funding.

In addition to contributions from employers, PFRON also gets subsidies from the state budget every year. Well, and in the Law on Vocational and Social Rehabilitation, it is that in publicly funded institutions, there is not this support from PFRON, from the PFRON budget to employ people with disabilities. That’s why we had to update, change a little bit the “Stable Employment” program, and we introduced two modules into it: one is dedicated to public administration, institutions – of various kinds – governmental. And here we have a whole range of different types of instruments, such as training, workplace adjustment, room adjustment, provision of appropriate application.

I recently hired a legislator in the BON – in the Office for Persons with Disabilities – a lawyer, young, blind. The problem is that a specialized application is not available, so he actually can’t use all his abilities. I hope that this will somehow be solved.

In any case, these trainings, adaptation of the room, provision of the appropriate equipment, including the application, under this program we want to do.

The second module is also interesting, it is dedicated to NGOs, which we want them to take care of preparing, finding people with disabilities who want to work in administration. Preparing these people, preparing a place to help them, in adaptation in the workplace, so that actually this person feels that he or she is not only welcome in the new environment, but also feels that he or she has the right support to be able to function there. Within the framework of this year, we have 300 internships that we want to fund under this program. There is 14 million this year – I’m saying it right – 14 million we have allocated for this, and of course we want to persuade you: workers with disabilities are great employees. Because of mobility problems, they are often less likely to leave their jobs, so they try harder, for the reason that they want to show that they are not at all inferior employees to others. They are also increasingly better prepared. Since the job market in Warsaw – also when it comes to people with disabilities – is difficult, we are also very concerned about the field administration, the provincial administration, the local government administration, so that jobs are created there as well. People with disabilities really deserve to have good, stable jobs created for them. And this is what I would like to ask and encourage you to do. Thank you very much.

Małgorzata Radziszewska:

– We sincerely thank the Minister. In fact, he introduced us to all the programs, especially the “Stable Employment” program, which the President of the Board of PFRON, Ms. Marlena Maląg, will tell us more about – the second module of this program.

Internships under the “Stable Employment” program

Marlena Maląg:

– Dear Minister, Madam President. Dear Directors.

Speech by Ms. Marlena Maląg, President of the Management Board of PFRON
President of the Management Board of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, Marlena Maląg

I am extremely pleased that you have responded to our invitation, and I think that together we will be able to expand this coalition for the support of people with disabilities. In fact, the Minister has already said almost everything, more cannot be added. But the package of programs “Active plus” – that’s what we called the three programs “Graduate”, “Stable employment”, which is within the framework of “Accessibility plus”, so the government program “Accessibility plus 2018-2025” and “Work – Integration”.

And today we just want to encourage you, because this is actually a great challenge – both the Ministry of Family has already met this challenge, PFRON has met it for a long time, because the indicator is higher, but we will not bid here. What we care about is that the public administration, the Civil Service, also employs people with disabilities. So we are creating programs – first of all, ones to support you as employers. “Stable Employment,” the second module we want to talk about today, which is those internships that are primarily designed to help people with disabilities enter the labor market. As in the “Work – Integration” program, the program is implemented in such a way that we announce a competition for NGOs that prepare your employees, that is, employees who are prepared to enter the labor market, who have their career path mapped out – that path they want to pursue.

But first and foremost, we support these people with disabilities, with a specific stipend, which is primarily to help them carry out their tasks. And we are anxious that we will be able to boast together in some time, and to say the least, the goal we have set for this module is a total of 600 internships – 300 this year – so that together we will accomplish this task. Above all, for the state administration, for the Civil Service, this is a very important task to show that we not only speak but, above all, carry out those tasks that are entrusted to our mission, to our task. We know that the disabled are more than 12% when it comes to statistics. However, yes indeed disabled people who may be disabled due to various conditions, temporarily, even there are up to 30% of those who are covered by the State Rehabilitation Fund. And I firmly believe that our meeting, this very message that the Minister delivered to you here, will be that encouragement, and we will be able to accomplish this task together, which is very important. Because, above all, this task serves the other person. People with disabilities will regain not only professional but social activation through this, and above all they will feel needed. And every person in his activity needs to be needed, needs to find himself, and this is what we want to achieve our mission through this with your participation, that is, to create this broad coalition to support people with disabilities. Thank you very much.

Malgorzata Radziszewska:

– Now we ask Mr. Robert Bartold from the Ministry of Investment and Development to take the floor, who will also tell us about his experience in cooperation with people with disabilities.

Employees with disabilities in the ministry

Robert Bartold:

– Good morning to you. A warm welcome to you. 

Robert Bartold of the Ministry of Investment and Development on experiences in cooperation with people with disabilities, next to the photo is sign language interpreter Tomasz Smakowski
Ministry of Investment and Development on cooperation with people with disabilities

First of all, I want to say that for us at the Ministry, hiring people with disabilities is not a problem. We would like as many people as possible to be employed with us. We, too, are an office, an institution that, frankly speaking, does not look at the rate of whether we reach 6% or do not reach 6%. I personally have always considered that – it’s a very good thing, I’ll talk about it right now – whereas, I’ve always looked at it as the Minister said, that this is basically an alternative form of support. That’s why, if we don’t make payments to PFRON, and we have full employment, then of course this will be one form of activation for people who are with disabilities. On the other hand, of course, it will impoverish the fund at this point, which it can sometimes give better assistance to people with disabilities. But we are nevertheless trying to get as many of these people as possible. Currently, if I remember correctly, there are about 3.3% of people with disabilities in our office, which is about 50, 48 people I think exactly. 

On the other hand, we are a large office, so it is so much more difficult for us to fulfill this indicator, but it is a large group of people who must be. On the other hand, we are trying to make the office more and more accessible. And this, too, is part of our joint “Accessibility Plus” program. And also in this regard, we want the integration of people with disabilities, of which there are, however, more and more of us, and each of us at some point becomes less and less able, to be greater and greater. That’s why in our Ministry we also try (I have to go back) to simplify things related to how people come to us. And we don’t just do for people with disabilities, we do for everyone, so we have enabled simplified recruitment, simplified bidding.

Today, at the Ministry, you can really submit your job application very quickly – sitting at the computer – and then, of course, we complete all the required paperwork so that, so to speak, the current provisions of the Civil Service Act are fulfilled. On the other hand, we try above all to make it simple, fast, so that applying to us is not difficult. Of course, we also have something like: we allow employees to be assisted by an assistant or a sign interpreter during the proceedings. We are simply trying to make the process easier – also for people who have certain deficits. Of course, in addition to this, we are also already a participant in the “Stable Employment” program. We have had the opportunity to strengthen, so to speak, our capabilities as an employer, by financing either training or equipment for workplaces. We are also doing some such branding activities so that we are also seen as an employer that is friendly to people with disabilities.

Given that there is a certain problem, because when it comes to the Civil Service Law and open and competitive recruitment, we don’t always manage to effectively encourage people to run for office. And there are really few of these people. On top of that, these people still have to meet the requirements for the position. And it is often the case that, unfortunately, not exactly those people submit who need to. Therefore, we decided that in order to somehow make up for our deficit here, we are also trying to hire for a position in the so-called non-mandatory positions, that is, outside the civil service. Well, and there we have indeed succeeded in supplementing it a little. 

Cooperation with NGOs

We also work with organizations – with various – NGOs. We try to organize some meetings. We also do the “My Internship” program, which is a program that is not exactly related to the “Stable Employment” program, but is an internship program that is generally for dedicated students. And within the framework of this internship we set aside four places ourselves, which are declared for the disabled. They are sort of marked, while, of course, we are also ready – within the framework of this internship – (to accept) more people who come to us. Of course, there is quite a lot of interest, for the reason that also those who are on this internship get some remuneration during the internship, so this is generally also a certain thing that makes us….

In addition to this, we are also trying to do some activities among employees, for the reason that we believe that employees also need to get a little accustomed to how to be with people with disabilities, for the reason that, first of all, at the beginning there is fear. People think that they will not communicate with these people. That’s why we try at various meetings, such and right here, to have a person to help translate what people who can hear say to those people who have problems with it. And even at internal meetings, if there is a possibility and need, there is a sign interpreter. We also have the possibility, of course, to use applications that will allow deaf people who come to us to communicate. But we also do such training, which is often conducted by people with disabilities, which is simply training on how to behave when dealing with a person with a disability. Therefore, because we simply want these people to feel more comfortable with us, we also have information about the fact that within the framework of stable employment we were able to install induction loops – additional loops, because we had already done some before. 

We are also trying to be informationally accessible, that is, our website where (we have) information – we are also trying to make it in increasing volume with information that is accessible to everyone. We have a presentation in sign language. We also have, as I said, induction loops that are installed at the entrance to the building. It may not be much, but we are trying to make it as good as possible. And finally, of course, we take quite difficult measures all the time to also make our building an easier building. Well, unfortunately, it is not always so easy, because sometimes there are narrow passages, it is not always possible to make an elevator. We elevator fortunately have, we enriched them, of course, with some voice system. But there are still places that are maybe more difficult to get to. I say this very briefly. On the other hand, I would like to say that we don’t see it as a problem – that is, we don’t see it as a problem, rather we see it as an opportunity for us.

We would like as many people as possible to come to us for internships, because – not only with disabilities, of course, but in particular we would like people who have certain deficits to come, so that they see first of all that it is possible to work with us. But this is also the element – taming the organization – for the reason that many people who come, if they prove themselves, I think they will dare to apply later in the recruitment. We, for our part, will certainly support these people. We will support to make it as easy as possible for them to pass. Of course, we won’t give too many pluses either, because I have to prove myself in recruitment, however. From this point of view, I estimated how many people we would be able to (accept) under the program – if, of course, there is not a greater demand from other units – I estimated that in order to effectively use the potential of this program, then assuming that we currently have 3.3% employment of people with disabilities, we should probably take so with 7% of the state for placement. Well, because I assume that not all the people who will be on internship will come back to us. That’s how 3.5% will probably get hired. That would put us over the 6%, so I estimated that it would be more or less 100 people so adequately. Therefore, I say a preliminary declaration:

If there are no other takers, no one will take us, then we will gladly take 100 people in, and I am convinced that these will be good internships. And also the head of Dagmara Haba-Kimla, who is present here and is in charge of the organization, including the “My Development” internships, I think will ensure that we will indeed all benefit – all parties – from these internships. So thank you very much for the opportunity. Thank you for the opportunity to be here and from our side.

Malgorzata Radziszewska:

– Thank you very much for the interesting presentation and indeed, a lot of activities that the Ministry of Investment and Development is doing. I myself frequent the Ministry, if only for the discussion of the “Accessibility Plus” program, which I appreciate from the perspective of accessibility very well.

Testimony of a PFRON employee

Malgorzata Radziszewska:

Now – as far as the program of this meeting is concerned – it’s time for the so-called testimony of a PFRON employee, that is me. My name is Radziszewska (Małgorzata) and I have been an employee of the Fund for almost a quarter of a century. A quarter of a century – well, that’s right. The Fund was established in 1991 and was created to support the employment of people with disabilities.

And I think PFRON has read its mission correctly, not only in the sense of collecting funds and passing them on, but also as an institution that can serve as an example that employment of people with disabilities is not terrible. In fact, from the beginning of the Fund, we had people with disabilities, including wheelchair users. One of the first presidents of PFRON was Mr. Miłek, who was in an electric wheelchair. One of the vice presidents of PFRON was a person with a visual disability. We have at the moment, I think here Ms. Head of the Department of Employment and Personnel Policy will tell us how many percent of disabled people I have employed.

We employ people with various disabilities. PFRON employs people with visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility impairments – and this is the department that is closest to me, due to the fact that I myself also use a wheelchair. PFRON here serves such a solution, which for us, people who move a little differently, that is, through such equipment, basically organizes transportation from the beginning. Here I would like to draw your attention to this, because it is very important from the perspective that you can not get to the bus stop by yourself everywhere. In a situation of very difficult weather conditions, it is also difficult. The moment you go out of the block, out of the cage, it immediately becomes a bathtub in the stroller. Because we don’t have an umbrella, we don’t use this type of thing, and at this point, when the specialized transport picks up and drives away, there is a very important issue from us.

Why transport in PFRON? Because a fixed carrier is extremely important here. In Warsaw, of course, there is specialized transportation, this is somehow organized by the city, but here, too, various things need to be improved so that it responds to the needs of people in need of assistance from day to day.

In order not to ramble on, because our time is getting very short, I would like to invite our panelists, who will also talk about the experience of employing people with disabilities, about perspectives. And here I am pleased to invite Ms. Dagmara Haba-Kimla, Head of the Recruitment Department at the Human Resources Management Office of the Ministry of Investment and Development. You are cordially invited. The chairs are already there for the ladies.

I would like to invite Ms. Anna Szygenda, member of the Board of Directors of the Integration Foundation – that is, we have a non-governmental organization element here. 

And I would like to invite Ms. Anna Falkowska, Head of the Human Capital Department (…) at the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. 

Let me, due to the fact that we have prepared such three different questions, each question addressed to a different person – but they present a kind of characteristic, they also present a good position of various ladies, when it comes to the perspective of employment of persons with disabilities and internships as well.

The first question is addressed to Ms. Dagmara Haba-Kimla, and it will go like this: Can an office be a good place to do an internship and then a good place to work for people with disabilities? The gentleman from the Ministry of Investment and Development has already said yes, but we will ask for an expansion.

Can an office be a good place to get an internship and then a good place to work for people with disabilities?

Representatives of PFRON and the Integration Foundation,
Dagmara Haba-Kimla, Head of the Recruitment Department at the Human Resources Management Office of the Ministry of Investment and Development. Anna Szygenda, Board member of the Integration Foundation. Anna Falkowska, Head of the Human Capital Department at PFRON. Małgorzata Radziszewska, PFRON employee.

Dagmara Haba-Kimla:

– Good morning to you. I, for one, think that it doesn’t really matter much whether it is business or administration. Internships are a very good opportunity to gain experience. At the same time, I think that what really matters are the organizational assumptions and the goodwill of both parties – both the one who organizes the internship and the people who come to this internship, how much they will gain from this form of activation. Of course, the administration can be and even is, I would say, a very good and attractive place to do an internship, and to take up employment. And what the previous speakers have already said here, contrary to appearances, in Warsaw it is not at all easy to get people willing to do internships – even more so people with disabilities. Also, as employers we face the problem of obtaining good employees. When I say “good”, I mean those who would meet the recruitment criteria.

So I think the internship is such an opportunity for both sides: on the one hand, for people who take up internships to get to know this future work environment, to disenchant precisely these stereotypes. I for one think there are concerns on both sides. And also in the work environment, many supervisors wonder whether they will cope and whether this intern will also meet their expectations. And what the director has already said, we are taking various measures to create this work environment more friendly, to change the mentality, prejudices of employees, but also on the other hand, we have more than once encountered that – whether just organizing some meetings with NGOs – that people with disabilities, or sometimes the foundations themselves, think that it is the procedures in the civil service in particular, just some very complex, and that it is really hard for this person with a disability to break through and get to us. I think that, in closing, as much as possible internships are an opportunity for both sides, and I hope that we will be able to take full advantage of such an opportunity and get new employees. 

Malgorzata Radziszewska:

– Thank you very much. I will supplement with my experience – because I shortened my speech as much as possible – I on the internship in PFRON was not. On the other hand, I was employed for 2, 3 months on a contract of mandate, then I already got a fixed-term contract, and then a permanent one. And I started from the position of a clerk. Now I’m an expert in the Program Department, and I’m in charge of, among other things, programs like the one we’re talking about today.

I will now invite you to answer a question from Ms. Anna Szygenda, a member of the Board of Directors of the Integration Foundation. And I’m going to ask you this: the internships of people with disabilities in the administration that we’re talking about today – what benefits do you see for the intern, who is a person with a disability, and for the employer where this internship takes place? In principle, we have already said a lot on this subject, but here maybe you can add your experience. 

What are the benefits for the intern, who is a person with a disability, and for the employer where this internship takes place?

Anna Szygenda:

– Good morning to you. Well, this is where I think everything has already been literally said. All the benefits that there are both for the employer and the employee. For me personally, an internship is such a bridge between one side and the other. In fact, one world and the other. We at Integration notice all the time that this fear of the employer – in fact, this fear caused by not really knowing how to hire an employee with a disability, how to even fire him too. For me it is (important) that you are open, that we break down these barriers – because I will not add anything more. What more can I tell you, what are the benefits? We all know very well, we know these programs, but this is the first step for one and to the other, which is very important, which makes the person with a disability begin to be economically active. Likewise, and employers who hire people with disabilities change the reality not only of that person, but also the reality of their employees.

This world begins to be completely different for a person with a disability. I’m mainly talking about such soft issues, because we don’t talk about it so loudly. We only talk about such strictly pure benefits. And the fact that a person will get out of the house, that they will take that first step – I don’t think there is anything more important for them really. Also I sincerely encourage it. Especially since these internships are structured in such a way that this employee is really prepared, that the employer goes through such a whole path, from the workplace, which is audited confidently, which will be adapted to this person. Therefore, I very much invite you to participate in this project. I count on your openness and on this first step in fact.

Malgorzata Radziszewska:

– Thank you very much. You said about this first step. I would like to say that my first step was a very long one, because all the way from the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship to Warsaw, so it must have been such a leap – hardly a civilization leap – although, of course, where I lived before doesn’t mean that I was inactive. I was very active socially and co-managed, co-organized day care centers for children from socially maladjusted families, so as if this activity in the industry from the beginning of my kind of adult life was quite familiar to me. 

And now I would very much like to ask Ms. Anna Falkowska, Head of the Human Capital Department of the State Rehabilitation Fund, to share her thoughts in this way: based on your experience, how can an office, an institution, prepare for cooperation with a disabled person? Does it require any special efforts? What would you tell us?

How can an office, an institution prepare to work with a person with a disability?

Anna Falkowska:

– A warm welcome to you. Let me start perhaps by saying that PFRON has doubled the rate, Minister, and we in June can boast of a rate of 14% when it comes to employment of people with disabilities. Ladies and Gentlemen. The State Fund for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities – a lot of words have already been said here – for more than two decades, has experience in managing a large structure for managing people with disabilities in our organization. I wanted to emphasize that it is possible. It is possible to create an organization that is open, friendly to people with disabilities. And, of course, I will not derive here the need for adaptation from the technical side, but very important are also those mental conditions, working environments for such people, which should be created so that they feel important, needed in this workplace. For each of us, work is a very high value. These people, thanks to the fact that they have employment, can also realize themselves on a personal, family life level. This is crucial. And as a public administration, we should enable these people, facilitate this.  

But moving on to this practice. Regarding the State Fund for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities, I wanted to tell you that more than 80% of the people with disabilities who are employed are those who are excelling in specialized and expert positions. Nearly 6% are people who supply our managerial staff. On the other hand, only less than 20% are employees who are still in these lower positions today. They are starting their careers. But as we have the testimony here and the example that Ms. Margaret presented, they are at the beginning of this path, and hopefully they will also reach this expert position.

The fact that the Fund has created proper and good working conditions for people with disabilities is also evidenced by the fact that more than 70% of people with disabilities who are employed, stay with us for the long term. This is already over a period of more than ten years. Also, this is, Ladies and Gentlemen, possible.

I would also like to briefly tell you about such an experience of ours, about such a project that we have been implementing since last year, since August, with one of the NGOs. PFRON also decided to open up to another type of vocational activation, precisely in the form of internships, apprenticeships, volunteering. And we have a partner with whom we are implementing vocational training for people with intellectual disabilities. Where did we start? We just started with a meeting with representatives of our organizational units to think about, to look for, where are the professional areas where we can involve these people. What tasks can we assign to these people so that they can try to just acquire this professional experience. It turned out that there are such tasks, including in an institution like ours, to help people with intellectual disabilities gain work experience. The next step was also to establish such a profile and competence requirements, but also from the side of the work environment, as far as these people are concerned. That is, to provide a workplace where, for example, there should be less stimuli, so that these people are also not excessively distracted at work. There have been meetings between the career counselor and the employees of the organizational units already in place, where these vocational trainings took place. I must say that these were very valuable and good experiences. We continue such cooperation. A supervisor is always appointed, both on the part of PFRON and on the part of the partner. We remain in constant contact. We monitor this process, this vocational training. If it turns out that such a person is doing very well, we propose, for example, to increase the number of hours. We suggest other tasks. If we see that difficulties arise, we monitor this, the schedule is modified, for example. This is all the time a process that is open, active, but in fact, as a final result, a disabled person, after such an internship, can enter in his CV that he has experience in the public sector, in the implementation of one or another task. This is already depending on what professional areas you will engage such disabled people in. At the end of such an internship there is also an opinion, a summary, both on our part, as the institution that organizes these internships, and on the part of our partner.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion, I encourage you to be so open both to employing people with disabilities, as well as to all these activities supporting the process of professional activation of people with disabilities. I believe that the success of this endeavor, is such active, harmonized and comprehensive cooperation of all parties, that is, both the employer, social partners and the disabled person himself. Thank you kindly.

Conclusion of the conference

Malgorzata Radziszewska:

– Thank you very much. What you mentioned, that the involvement of many partners is also such a part of the success of social policy. We know, for example, that family policy has been very successful recently, and that is precisely because it is long-term, comprehensive. Many social partners are involved. This was also discussed, for example, on Saturday, at the congress “Poland’s Great Project,” which I also had the pleasure of attending. 

And so at the end I dream that in a year’s time, at such a congress, the subject of disability would resonate in such a way as the subject of pro-family policy.

Thank you and you very much for your participation in today’s meeting, for the speakers. Thank you to the Minister for hosting this venue and introducing you to all the programs that currently make up this “Active plus” module of ours. I would also like to remind you that until June 21 is the deadline for declarations of participation in module two of the “Stable Employment” program. Thank you very much. I invite you to exchange thoughts, possible questions already in coffee. Thank you very much.


The conference, “Job placements in public administration as a facilitator of vocational activation of people with disabilities,” was held on June 10, 2019 at the Prime Minister’s Office.


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