Businesses can use their resources to uplift the disadvantaged: Masagos

Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli speaking at an SG Cares Network Session on Oct 20, 2022. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - More businesses and employers can do their part and make use of their expertise and resources to create impact and uplift those who are disadvantaged, said Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli.

He said that more businesses should also open their doors to inclusive practices, which will allow those with disabilities to be recognised for their abilities and skills in the workplace. 

He was speaking at an SG Cares Network Session on Thursday, which engaged community partners like social service agencies, volunteers and the public to discuss how Singapore’s social compact can be improved.

Mr Masagos said that corporates and community partners can harness their resources and networks to help the needy by designing programmes and services in areas like education and employment.

Currently, 30 per cent of working-age persons with disabilities are employed. The goal of raising that figure to 40 per cent by 2030, which translates to about 10,000 more workers, was set out in the Enabling Masterplan 2030 in August.

Mr Masagos said: “To make this happen, we need inclusive and innovative employers who will offer meaningful employment and training opportunities.”

He added that the Government will offer support in the form of job redesign, adjusting work environments, and training existing staff to work with those with disabilities.

“But we need more of you to come forward to recognise how persons with disabilities can contribute, and open your doors.”

Besides creating a more inclusive society for those with disabilities, more support should be rendered to lower-income families.

He said that if the concerns of lower-income families are not addressed, these may become disadvantages later in life and impact the next generation.

“We need to uplift these families so that they have access to opportunities regardless of their starting point, and allow them to have a fair chance to do better for themselves when they try.”

“This is not just an issue for low-income families. It is a matter that cuts to the core of who we are as a people.

“Ultimately, it is about the society we want to be – a society that seeks the good of the other, where we think for others and not only for ourselves.”

To be able to do this, coordinating efforts is key, said Mr Masagos.

“If today’s social compact is one of working together, I believe that our social compact of tomorrow must be one where we work in sync. Not as separate helping hands but as a strong tapestry of support, meeting the needs of those we help.”

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