Youth with disabilities forum

Forum mladih sa invaliditetom | Youth with disabilities forum

Third Sustainability Talks: Inclusive employment and support for the employment of persons with disabilities

The Forum for Responsible Business in cooperation with the Youth with Disabilities Forum (YDF) organized on March 11 the third Sustainability Talks meeting with the theme “Inclusive employment and support for the employment of persons with disabilities”, and the host was Delhaize Serbia, winner of the Award for the most inclusive employer. After the introductory presentation of the company that hosted the event, there was a discussion about various mechanisms that contribute to inclusive employment and support the employment of people with disabilities.

With the aim of approaching the topic of encouraging inclusion in the work environment as comprehensively as possible, examples of good practice, projects and programs in this area were presented by Simona Mitrović, ambassador for organizational culture, Delez Serbia; Slađana Lević, program director, YDF; Jovana Zeljić, Senior Learning and Development Specialist, UniCredit Bank; Marija Ignjatović, Director of Novitas Consult and Margareta Musić, Director of Corporate Communications and manager of the Elixir Foundation. Throughout the conversation, discussion was encouraged, and the participants shared valuable experiences related to inclusive employment. The panelists reflected on the importance of the award for the most inclusive employer, which was awarded to Delez at the CSR & ESG Forum in December, and the trainings on inclusive employment for employers held by YDF for five large companies, including UniCredit Bank, whose training experiences were presented were distributed on this occasion. The participants also discussed the importance of business cooperation for the sustainable development of social enterprises and enterprises for the employment and rehabilitation of people with disabilities, and the partnership between Elixir Group and Novitas Consult was presented as an example of successful cooperation.

The aim of this panel was to enable the exchange of experiences of representatives of different sectors on the issue of encouraging inclusive employment, as well as to highlight positive practices that promote the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion in the working environment. Program director Slađana Lević presented the activities that YDF provides in the process of employing people with disabilities. She stated that YDF carries out a series of services such as: training for employers, support in reasonable adjustment of the workplace and working conditions, consulting services in all stages of employment. She also emphasized the importance of the unique Portal for employment of persons with disabilities as an example of good practice for mediation between employers and persons seeking employment.

Sustainability Talks are thematic meetings and gatherings organized by Forum for Responsible Business for its members, with the aim of exchanging knowledge, sharing experiences, challenges and examples of good practice in the field of sustainable development and responsible business. In addition to members of the Forum for Responsible Business network, the third Sustainability Talks event was also attended by members of the Network of Employers for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities launched by YDF in early 2021.

The third Sustainability Talks was held with the support of the “Job Fit: Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities” project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented by the Youth with Disabilities Forum. Other partners in the project are Caritas of Serbia, the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, the Smart Kolektiv and the Center for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities of Serbia.

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