Jobs and Inclusion in Europe


87 million people with disabilities

Currently, only half of the 42.8 million persons with disabilities of working age in the EU is employed.

In Germany, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) confirms in its research project "People with severe disabilities in companies" (2022) that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular still train or employ too few people with a severe disability. One reason for this is that too few suitable applicants come forward in the first place.


Knowledge about the needs
Good information and knowledge about the needs of people with disabilities and a supportive working environment have a significantly positive effect on perceived integration (IW Trends 2/2012, Success factors for inclusion in companies)
Misconceptions about people with disabilities are widespread in the labour market. (WISEs in Europe. Current situation of skills gaps, especially in the digital area. 2022 p. 18 - Output 1 of the B-Wise project of EASPD)


Around 25% of all companies in Germany do not employ people with disabilities (compulsory jobs) and instead pay an equalisation levy. Around half of all people with severe disabilities are unemployed for at least one year. Unemployed people without disabilities are more than twice as likely to find a job as unemployed people with disabilities (statistica 2023).


European Skills Agenda

As part of the European Skills Agenda, the EU is calling on its member states to include people with disabilities in order to improve their significantly lower employment rate compared to the rest of the population (50% of people with disabilities have a job, compared to 75% of people without disabilities - 52% of people with disabilities in the EU feel discriminated against). These activities are supported by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, which provides statistics and data on school inclusion in Europe.
The aim is to improve the still poorer participation opportunities of around 87 million people with disabilities and the implementation of the UN Charter for People with Disabilities (see EU communication "Union of Equality: Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030" 2021).
Improving participation and inclusion is currently an important priority in various EU policy areas.

Strategic Partnership Adult Education

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the view only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.




Contact / Coordinator


Akademie Klausenhof

Pia Ziyout

Klausenhofstr. 100

46499 Hamminkeln, Germany