Oral Answer by Mr Zaqy Mohamad Minister of State for Manpower to Parliamentary Question on integration of persons with special needs into workforce
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1535 OF 2019 FOR THE SITTING ON 11 FEBRUARY 2019
QUESTION NO. 2645 FOR ORAL ANSWER
MP: Ms. Anthea Ong
To ask the Minister for Manpower what steps is the Ministry taking to (i) leverage the investment and efforts by Workforce Singapore to include and integrate unemployed but employable persons with disabilities into the Singapore core and (ii) advise and collaborate with social sector agencies to ensure that persons with disabilities are prepared adequately for the future economy to prevent them from further marginalisation.
- Under the Adapt and Grow (A&G) initiative, Workforce Singapore (WSG) and its partners provide job matching services and programmes to help jobseekers overcome mismatches in skills, wages or job expectations. Persons with special needs can tap on these services and programmes to find suitable employment, particularly the Open Door Programme (ODP) and Career Trial. In the past three years, more than 1,600 persons with special needs have been placed through these programmes.
- The ODP, which is administered by SG Enable, provides dedicated support for employers to hire, train and include persons with special needs in the workplace. The programme provides employers with recruitment and job support services, as well as grants to redesign jobs for persons with special needs, upgrade their skills, and train co-workers to work better together with persons with special needs.
- Some employers may be unsure whether a particular person with special needs would be suited to the job, while persons with special needs may also be unsure whether the job and work environment are suitable. The Career Trial programme offers an opportunity for jobseekers to train and work for employers for a short stint of up to three months, during which time the jobseeker receives a training allowance from WSG. Since April 2018, all persons with special needs who are hired after the trial will receive retention incentives and their employers will receive salary support.
- Under the Third Enabling Masterplan, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has been actively engaging persons with special needs and their caregivers to better understand their aspirations, needs and challenges. The Government is also working with social service agencies and other partners in the private and people sectors to improve education, training and job placement for persons with special needs, and identify suitable employment opportunities for them.