More help for people with disabilities to enter workforce

Out of an existing $30 million fund, $5 million has now been set aside for programmes which help people with disabilities enter jobs.
Out of an existing $30 million fund, $5 million has now been set aside for programmes which help people with disabilities enter jobs.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Employers, providers of transition-to-employment programmes, and people with disabilities will all get more help for the same goal: getting people with disabilities into employment.

Companies that want to hire people with disabilities can refer to a new set of online human resource (HR) guides.

Out of an existing $30 million fund, $5 million has now been set aside for programmes which help people with disabilities enter the workforce.

And a comprehensive plan will be drawn up to help them gain skills, as part of the Government's SkillsFuture movement.

"We're investing in education and skills of all our citizens throughout their lives, and that must include persons with disabilities," said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, announcing the moves on Friday (Feb 26) evening at the inaugural Inclusive Business Forum.

The first of four online HR management guides for employees with disabilities was launched at the forum. It covers inclusive recruitment and hiring practices. The next three, to be released over the course of the year, will cover assistive and accessible technology; career advancement and employee retention; and creating accommodating jobs and workplaces.

The guides will be available at a new disability employment portal, employment.sgenable.sg, also launched at the forum.

The website brings together information on various aspects of employment for people with disabilities, from internship programmes for students to training courses.

In addition, $5 million out of the existing $30 million Tote Board-Enabling Lives Initiative has been set aside for "transition-to-employment" programmes. Voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) or other groups which are designing such programmes to prepare people with disabilities for employment can apply for this grant.

For workers themselves, SG Enable and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency will work with VWOs, employers and persons with disabilities to come up with a comprehensive plan to help them benefit from the national SkillsFuture movement for lifelong learning.

This will include a dedicated category of SkillsFuture Study Awards, for persons with disabilities who are role models as well as for job coaches and other professionals who support persons with disabilities.

Details of these SkillsFuture Study Awards will be announced later, said Mr Tharman.