Enhanced initiatives to promote employment of persons with disabilities

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, officiated at the 2017-18 Award Presentation Ceremony cum Experience Sharing Session of Inclusive Organisations of the Talent-Wise Employment Charter and Inclusive Organisations Recognition Scheme (Charter Scheme) today (March 5). He said that the Government would enhance initiatives to promote the employment of persons with disabilities (PWDs), including strengthening post-placement follow-up services in vocational rehabilitation service units as well as increasing subsidies provided to employers of PWDs.

     As set out in the 2018-19 Budget speech and estimates, in the new financial year the Government will strengthen post-placement follow-up services in vocational rehabilitation service units. In this connection, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) will increase the manpower of the Supported Employment service, On the Job Training Programme for PWDs and Sunnyway (On the Job Training Programme for Young PWDs) to enhance vocational rehabilitation support for PWDs, and extend the follow-up period from six to 12 months to enhance post-placement follow-up and support for PWDs.

Job-matching services in the open market will also be provided for PWDs.

     In addition, the SWD will provide a job attachment allowance for trainees of the Supported Employment service and a wage subsidy for employers offering job trials to these trainees. The Labour Department will enhance the Work Orientation and Placement Scheme and extend the work adaptation period of PWDs from two to three months. The maximum amount of allowance payable to eligible employers engaging a PWD with employment difficulties will be increased by $16,000 to $51,000, while the longest subsidy period will be extended from eight to nine months.

     Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Law said, "Every man has his gift.

We truly believe that all of us, either able-bodied or disabled, have unique potentials and abilities. Everyone can excel, unleash their potential and contribute to the community given suitable opportunities."

     The Charter Scheme is jointly organised by the Labour and Welfare Bureau (LWB), the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee (RAC), the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), with an aim to mobilise tripartite collaboration among the community, Government and business sector for measures to create more internship and employment opportunities for PWDs. Since its launch in September 2013 to the present date, over 600 public and private organisations, including all Government bureaux and departments as well as 155 small and medium enterprises, have joined the Charter Scheme.

     In the Charter Scheme this year, in addition to presenting the Friendly Employment Award to 96 inclusive organisations which employ or promote their business partners to employ PWDs, last year's Outstanding Mentor Award has been upgraded to become the Outstanding Inclusive Team Award and give recognition to mentors or teams of some 64 organisations assisting employees with disabilities in coping with difficulties at work, with a view to fostering the integration of employees with disabilities into the company work team and building an inclusive workplace for both able-bodied and disabled persons.

     Six of the awardees introduced how enterprises and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) promote employment of PWDs by enabling them to master work skills and achieve their potential via case videos and experience-sharing by employees with disabilities and their employers.

     Dr Law said he hoped that the sharing session could inspire the community and enterprises to explore further job opportunities for PWDs.

The Government attaches great importance to the integration of PWDs into society and will set an example and work with the private sector and NGOs to provide them with more employment opportunities, he said.

     Also officiating at the ceremony were the Chairman of the RAC, Mr Anthony Yeung; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities, Mr Benny Cheung; the Chief Executive of the HKCSS, Mr Chua Hoi-wai; and the Chairman of the RAC Sub-committee on Employment, Mr Billy Man.

     The list of organisations participating in the Charter Scheme and awardees have been uploaded to the LWB's thematic website of the Charter Scheme (http://www.lwb.gov.hk/charter_scheme" target="_blank">www.lwb.gov.hk/charter_scheme).

Published on: 2018-03-05

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