Institute for Educational Research
PwC, in cooperation with a social organization, was responsible for preparing descriptions of professional qualifications for people with intellectual disabilities. Moreover, applications were submitted to include qualifications in the Polish National Integrated Qualifications System.
Barriers to their social and vocational rehabilitation makes it even harder for people with disabilities to lead independent lives. In Poland, many employers are still reluctant to hire people with intellectual disabilities, out of fear that they do not have the appropriate qualifications to take up employment on the open labour market.
A Polish state institution, the Institute for Educational Research, is responsible for the implementation of the Integrated Qualifications System (IQS) in Poland. The Institute created an opportunity to include many different qualifications into the system to provide citizens with credible certifications and make them marketable on the labour market.
A Polish NGO supporting disabled people, together with PwC, recognised this as an opportunity to help people with intellectual disabilities develop the competencies desired by the labour market by integrating new qualifications.
To submit new qualifications to the IQS, experienced entities must prepare a description that details the validation process, certification, skills and knowledge pertaining to that specific certificate. The Ministry assesses these descriptions to decide if they will be added to the IQS. If accepted, job candidates and seekers have the opportunity to apply for and obtain the state-guaranteed certificate.
Working directly with NGOs who support people with disabilities, the PwC team prepared descriptions of what competencies employers require for ten different professional qualifications, tailored for people with disabilities. The detailed descriptions focused on jobs in gastronomy, such as a kitchen assistant, and work supporting the elderly in carrying out daily activities, such as eating meals or personal hygiene.
These descriptions also outlined how the IQS evaluates candidates for certification. This provides the NGOs working to help find jobs for people with disabilities with detailed information to support the application process.
The applications were submitted for the inclusion of ten qualifications into the IQS, which if selected, would provide people with disabilities the opportunity to obtain official competences that commonly exist on the labour market.
For many reasons, persons with disabilities often find it more difficult to enter the labour market. The Polish Government, through implementation of the Integrated Qualifications System, created a chance to knock down some of the barriers and empower them to succeed. Adding qualifications and helping persons with disabilities to obtain them could also contribute to reducing stigmatisation, boosting the country’s economy, and creating more transparency and equality in society.
The application for inclusion of qualifications in the system is currently being reviewed. If the ministries evaluate them positively, the first candidates will soon be able to apply for official certificates based on their competences.
If people with intellectual disabilities are able to obtain official certificates, we expect to see significant changes in their position on the labour market. By acquiring the qualifications, employers should gain confidence in their ability to work. This will both positively impact the lives of people with disabilities and foster economic growth. Potential employment will contribute to the social and vocational rehabilitation of people with disabilities, and it will help counteract negative stereotypes related to disability existing in society.
Senior Manager, PwC Poland
Senior Associate, PwC Poland