Over 1,600 people with disabilities have been hired under the Singapore Government’s Jobs Growth Incentive, according to a recent Ministry of Manpower report.
Most employees landed in the food services, environmental sciences and wholesale trade industries. Approximately 60% of the new hires were previously unemployed, with most of them coming from the long-term unemployed ranks, having been out of work for at least the six months prior to their new engagement.
Notwithstanding the carrots of government incentives, the figures suggest Singaporean employers are becoming more progressive in their hiring practices. “Employers who focus on the suitability of the candidates instead of personal circumstances and characteristics that are not relevant to their job-fit will be more successful in finding matches,” the report reinforced.
Nonetheless, the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices has found that many employers still misunderstand the needs of the disabled, or wrongly conclude they are unable to perform the tasks associated with a particular job scope. This lack of awareness is concerning and exacerbates the job insecurity and financial instability of the disabled during the pandemic.
In a Facebook post, Singaporean President Halimah Yacob urged all Singaporeans to look at [job creation for the disabled] as a national issue, instead of something only of concern to social service organisations. “Persons with disabilities will benefit much more if they are mainstreamed in our job creation and job placement efforts, instead of being treated separately,” she said.