Job fair helps persons with disabilities find firm footing

April 20, 2022
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

On April 20 2022, the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre opened its doors with UNDP support – for the first time it organized a job fair for persons with disabilities in Nur-Sultan. 25 employers attended the event, the bearer of good tidings, with more than 60 vacancies in various fields of activity available. More than 100 applicants attended the fair. 

“We did not expect so many participants. Previously, about 20-30 people attended such events, organized by employment centres. We registered more than 100 visitors, and these were only registered participants. In fact, the number of attendees was higher.”
Gulzada Dzhekebayeva, the manager of the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre

The employers also displayed an interest in the fair. Gulzada notes: “Due to limited space, we were able to invite only 25 employers, although more than 40 organizations registered. Moreover, each organization is prepared to work with persons with disabilities. We held a series of webinars for them underscoring the need to organize a workplace and the specifics of hiring persons with disabilities.”


Socially-aware entrepreneurs help PWDs cross the bridge to a career

Most of the employers who visited the fair deem themselves socially responsible entrepreneurs. Hiring persons with disabilities is not only the responsibility of employers but highlights their goal of hiring a qualified specialist.    

Ivan Matvienko, HR manager, “Basis A” construction company, came to the fair with a clear aim – to find suitable employees for his company. Ivan says: “During the fair, I collected a large number of resumes which our personnel department then parsed identifying several qualified candidates. We are ready to offer them a job”.

“We already have experience working with people with disabilities – surveyors and labourers worked in our organization. For more than two years, Nikita Brusilovsky, 23 years with cerebral palsy from birth, has been working with us as an assistant safety engineer. He drafts documentation in the training centre. Nikita’s condition has not thwarted him from developing professionally and benefiting from the company. We are adapting workplaces so persons with disabilities can have a sound work environment.”
Ivan Matvienko, HR manager

Job fair – a venue where opportunity comes knocking

The fair brought positive results: 11 job seekers found a job, 14 found an internship, and 29 were invited for a second interview. Almost 70 percent of applicants had some qualifications, and 30 percent had higher and secondary specialized education. Applicants were offered jobs from various fields, including manufacturing, construction, service, light industry, medicine, sports, finance, education and trade.


Maxim Sakun, 24 year old, visited the fair in search of new opportunities. After completing his studies at the University of Turan, he worked as an operator in one of the capital's companies, but due to the pandemic, like many people, he found himself without a job. For Maxim, the fair was a great opportunity to communicate with employers and find out about the most popular vacancies.

Maxim is waiting for an interview invitation from three organizations. He learned about the fair at the Rehabilitation Centre, where he takes computer literacy courses and has regular sessions with a psychologist. He thinks the fair was well organized and will gladly take part in it again in the future.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan

At the fair, applicants not only interacted with employers, but also got advice on pensions, career guidance, psychological, legal, and medical and social services. However, all these services are available at the rehabilitation centre. According to Gulzada Dzhekebayeva, 70 percent of the participants first learned about the centre during the fair and now they are regular visitors to the centre.

“After the fair, we had a sharp increase in the flow of visitors, if before the fair 2–3 people a day passed through our doors, now about 10–15 people come. Our task is not only to find a suitable vacancy for them, but also to prepare them for professional activities. After all, most of them have never worked and do not have any skills or education. Some applicants are not ready to work in a team and they need individual work and we select suitable vacancies for them.”
Gulzada Dzhekebayeva, the manager of the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre

The job fair showed that this recruitment format helps to reduce the time employers and job seekers spend in finding employment. Given its popularity, the centre is planning another, larger fair this coming September.