Employers in the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador want to understand why people with disabilities remain the lowest proportion of workers in the labour market.
The Petroleum Industry Human Resources Committee (PIHRC), formed in 1998 with a mandate to identify labour market issues in the oil and gas sector by drawing on current research or conducting its own in order to provide information to students and their key influencers.
A recent study on the awareness and perceptions of oil and gas industry careers among young persons with disabilities provides insight on why the numbers of employment applications received from youth with disabilities are low.
The findings revealed a consistent issue - students believe the oil and gas industry is inaccessible and unaccommodating. The study identified thatif an industry is not clearly communicating as accommodating youth living with a disability will disregard it as outside their capabilities.
As a result of the study, a document titled "A Communications and Tactic Guide for Recruiting Youth with Disabilities," speaks to the way messages are delivered recognizing demographics, tone, key messaging, imagery and typography. It provides examples of imagery and typography that reflect the needs and sensitivities of youth with a broad range of disabilities. It also suggests that recruiting should be part of a broader campaign, not a separate campaign, and all touch points be accommodating and accessible including:
- social media;
- materials used at fairs and conferences, (including the booth);
- job ads in multiple formats; and
- content for classroom presentations.
A new approach is required
We have to remind ourselves that the concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding and celebrating that we, as individuals, are unique and accommodating this uniqueness. Creating an inclusive and accessible environment enriches a work place. It capitalizes on the skills and talents available from a diverse work force, including, and in particular, people with disabilities.
A copy of the research report and guide can be found at http://www.oilandgascareerinfo.ca/resources/resources-for-industry/