Inclusion of People with Disabilities in every walk of life can lead to an inclusive society. To ensure their inclusion in Pakistan’s job market, Sightsavers and Pakistan Business Disability Network (PBDN) organized an employers’ meetup in Lahore under the Futuremakers project funded by Standard Chartered Bank.
The PBDN is an employer-led platform, established to facilitate the inclusion of persons with disabilities and ensure workplace diversity in Pakistan. This meet-up was organized to introduce employers with PBDN, and highlight challenges persons with disabilities face while accessing employment, and the role of employers towards disability inclusion.
While addressing the audience, Syeda Munazza Gillani, Country Director of Sightsavers Pakistan, shared the findings of the recent labor market assessment which identified the need to improve employers’ disability confidence and job readiness of youth with disabilities. She urged employers to join Pakistan Business and Disability Network to ensure the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the job market.
Syed Nazar Ali, Secretary General PBDN/EFP, said that the inclusion of youth with disabilities goes beyond corporate responsibility as this is about their right to decent employment. He added that EFP is committed to promoting the inclusion of youth with disabilities into employment and PBDN will help employers improve their disability confidence through capacity-building workshops, conducting disability assessments of workplaces, and suggesting actions to improve access for all.
Itfaq Khaliq Khan, Senior Program Manager Sightsavers facilitated a session to explore the challenges employers face while employing youth with disabilities and how PDBN can help employers in addressing these challenges.
Naureel Abbas, President of Team Dreams the Art of Living, said “Decent job opportunities for all especially for persons with disabilities is significant. It helps to protect them from social or economic discrimination”. He further added inclusion of youth with disabilities will contribute towards the achievement of SDG 8 and UNCRPD.
The employers’ meet-up was attended by 50 companies including Nestle, Adamjee Insurance, Netsol Technologies, and Euro Oil Pvt. Ltd, Packages Pvt. Ltd., The Lahore Chamber Of Commerce, Employee Federation Of Pakistan, Meezan Group Ghee & Oil, FFC Fauji Fertilizer Limited, HBL Konnect, Millat Tractors Limited, LUMS, JK Sugar Mills Pvt Ltd, and United Snacks Pvt. Ltd.
Sightsavers believe that Inclusive employment opportunities can be linked to inclusive and sustained economic growth because it creates a free and fair platform for ALL, which is devoid of their age, race, gender, and diversified abilities to have access to jobs, which can spur economic growth.