Is enough being done to support individuals?
Among persons with disabilities in the working ages of 15 to 64, 28.6% are employed in Singapore, based on a recent Ministry of Manpower (MOM) survey.
Most in the remaining two-thirds cited poor health or disability as the main reason for being unemployed. While another 4.2% stated they're actively looking for a job.
From January 2016 to June this year, MOM also found that close to 780 companies have hired more than 2,000 PwDs with support from a government initiative. At least 60% of these employees stayed in the job after 6 months.
During a parliamentary session, Zaqy Mohamad, Minister of State for Manpower, was asked whether enough is being done to support their hiring and training.
Mohamad shared that MOM provides support to employers in their inclusive practices.
- Special Employment Credit (SEC) to offset wages of Singaporeans with disabilities of all ages earning up to $4,000 a month
- Support for job redesign and training grants and programs
- As well as career trials, to support job placement and career matches
According to MOM’s findings, last year more than 5,700 employers hiring over 8,600 Singaporeans with disabilities benefited from SEC.
This number has increased from 2012, when SEC was first introduced. The wage offset was paid to around 3,200 employers hiring about 5,000 Singaporeans with disabilities.
“Some employers and persons with disabilities may have reservations about job fit and the suitability of the work environment,” Mohamad said. “To address these concerns, career trial provides an opportunity for jobseekers and employers to try out each other and assess job fit through a trial.”
He shared that there are also ongoing efforts to help employees integrate into the workforce. Earlier this year, MOM and SG Enable launched the Job Redesign Guide for Inclusive Employers.
The guide provides step-by-step information for companies on how they can redesign jobs to suit workers – for instance, through changes to the workplace or working arrangements.
Additionally, the Ministry of Social and Family Development announced a new workgroup to study better ways to prepare persons with disabilities for the future of work. The group aims to release their recommendations early next year.