Work for people with a sensory impairment

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Netherlands have lost some or all of their sight or hearing. These sensory impairments make it harder for them to find a job – and to be self-reliant. The social enterprise Ctalents helps them overcome the obstacles and get a job.

The statistics are staggering. Around 60 percent of the 60,000 blind people, the 130,000 people with a visual impairment, the 20,000 deaf people and the 140,000 people with a hearing impairment are unemployed. No matter what their talents. Ctalents wants to permanently reduce this unemployment level to 20 percent or less. Which is why the company supports professionals with a visual or hearing impairment and aged between 18 and 35 to find paid employment.

Unnecessary dependence

Ctalents uses a broad range of activities: from training, coaching, recruitment and selection through to consultancy, secondment, outplacement and replacement. These activities are vital. The simple fact is that people with a sensory impairment are difficult to reach and are often unaware of their own potential. For years they’ve been told that they have no place on the labour market. Many of them are wrongly declared unfit for work, and become unnecessarily dependent on care institutions.

Savings of 10 million euro

Ctalents aims to reach 5,000 people by mid-2019 and to have helped 10 percent of them into a long-term job by that time. If they succeed, that will save € 10 million in benefits. The results so far are highly promising. Of the people who Ctalents helped to discover their talents and find a job in 2014 and 2015, 91 percent are still working. And for 2016 the success rate was 97 percent.

How Rabobank Foundation helps

Rabobank Foundation provides Ctalents with a loan. This will enable Ctalents to cope with rapid growth, for instance by taking on staff, recruiting more potential employees and getting more large companies on their books. Currently the social enterprise is working with large organisations like the Zeeman retail chain and Utrecht provincial government bodies. Rabobank Foundation is also trying to create job opportunities for Ctalents people at Rabobank.