People with disabilities are three times less likely to participate in training

Work & training
People with disabilities are three times less likely to participate in training

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

54.6% of Belgians aged 18 to 69 who say they are in very good health participated in a training in the last year. The gap with those with a (very) poor health is large: only 15.1% of them participate in training. This is what emerged from the new results of Statbel, based on the Adult Education Survey. Both formal and informal trainings are taken into account: from a bachelor’s or master’s programme to a one-off webinar.

Of people aged 18 to 24 in (very) good or fair health, 8 out of 10 participate in a training. Among young adults in (very) poor health, less than 5 out of 10 participate in a training. Many young adults with poorer health therefore do not continue their studies and do not obtain a bachelor's or master's degree, which also limits their social integration in the future.

Health also plays a large role in the other age groups: among the 50-69-year-olds with a (very) poor health, 1 out of 10 participates in training, compared to 46% among people over 50 with a very good health.

Those with a disability participate less in training

When it comes to limitations that people say they experience in their daily life, we again see a large impact: of those who do not experience any limitations, 46% participate in training. Of those who say they experience severe limitations, 16% participate in training.

If we look at specific age groups, we see that disability plays a role in particular among young adults and people over 50. Whereas 80% of young adults with no or limited disability are in training, the figure is less than 50% for people with severe disabilities. The trend is the same among older people: among people over 50 with no or limited disability, 30% participate in training, compared to only 5% of people with severe disabilities.

Lack of time is the main reason for not participating or for participating less

The reason most often given for not participating or participating less in training is that it is not compatible with the schedule. Other personal reasons come next. In third place was the cost of training, and in fourth place was the fact that family circumstances made it impossible to participate in one or more trainings. In fifth place was health, a reason given by 13.1% of respondents (nearly 300,000 people).

For people with health problems, this is the main reason for not participating, given by 7 out of 10. If we look at the figures in more detail, we even find that health is the main reason why people do not take part in any training.

Link between health problems and the likelihood to have a job and a higher level of education

Among the whole population aged over 24, 22.9% have a diploma of lower secondary education, 36.5% a diploma of upper secondary education and 40.7% a diploma of higher education. The trend is just the opposite among people with health problems or major limitations in their daily activities: 42.1% have a diploma of lower secondary education, 37.5% a diploma of upper secondary education and 20.4% diploma of higher education. 

  Everyone With disability or health problems
Diploma of lower secondary education 22.9% 42.1%
Diploma of upper secondary education 36.5% 37.5%
Diploma of higher education 40.7% 20.4%

Training has a major impact on the level of education attained and on the likelihood of finding or keeping a job for adults (aged over 24). We also note that people with a health problem consider themselves to be incapacitated for work much more often than those with few limitations or health problems: 60.5% of people who say they are severely limited in their daily activities or have a (very) poor health consider themselves incapacitated for work. Only 16% have a job. The others are unemployed, retired or have some other status on the labour market.