SINGAPORE - A training grant for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and credits for their employers to offset wages are among measures to be rolled out to enhance the employability of this group of workers.
Announcing this in Parliament on Tuesday (March 3), Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad noted that while three in 10 PWDs aged 15 to 64 have a job, the ministry wants to do more to give this group an added boost.
"As more PWDs become economically active, the issues of financial independence, whether they enjoy fair salaries... will become more important," he said.
One enhancement is to strengthen the training grant under the Open Door Programme to provide more funding support for employers who send PWDs for training and for PWDs who want to upskill themselves. This programme helps PWDs to enter suitable jobs and better integrate into the workplace.
Course fee subsidies under the grant will be raised from 90 per cent to 95 per cent for eligible training courses curated by SG Enable, an agency dedicated to enabling PWDs.
Both unemployed and employed PWDs will receive a training allowance of $6 per hour, up from $4.50 previously. And they will receive another $100 when they complete the course.
Employers of PWDs will also get help to offset up to 20 per cent of the employee's salary, capped at $400 per month. This comes in the form of a new Enabling Employment Credit, which will replace the existing schemes that are expiring this year.
This credit will be given to employers that hire Singaporean PWDs earning below $4,000 a month, which will cover about four in five of current PWD employees.
Employers hiring PWDs who have not been working for at least six months will receive an additional 10 per cent wage offset, capped at $200 per month, for the first six months of employment.
In response to Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar (Ang Mo Kio GRC) and Ms Cheryl Chan (Fengshan), who asked about PWDs in the workforce, Mr Zaqy said: "Ultimately, the best way to safeguard the interests of PWDs is to ensure that they have many good job opportunities to choose from.
"This means more employers hiring PWDs, and giving them opportunities for career growth. It also means more Singaporeans welcoming PWDs as colleagues in the workplace," he added.