Social enterprises for the disabled to be launched in summer

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Issue 714, Page 4
Word count: 435
Published in: Macau Daily Times

Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) is hoping to launch the social enterprises program specially for disabled people in July or August this year.

According to IAS director Ip Peng Kin at the ceremony to award employers who hired disabled people yesterday, the social enterprises IAS is planning to introduce are different from those by the government.

“Our social enterprises are to create job opportunities for disabled people in a fair work environment where they can make stable income and build up confidence,” Ip said.

Disabled people account for about five to six percent of the entire Macau population, which is around 30,000, the IAS chief said.

“Among the 30,000, apart from those with severe forms of disability, 60 to 70 percent have the capability to work. But they will still need to receive pre-job or communications skill training with the help of social service workers or counsellors before joining the workforce,” he added.

Having learned the experience from other places, Ip said social service associations will be the one to manage social enterprises and also to recruit both disabled and non-disabled people so that they can join hands and work together.

The IAS director said there are still a lot of disabled people who have not yet acquired recognition from the others in society.

Many disabled people in rehabilitation facilities are also found to not being able to find a job, he added.

“Although more and more disabled people are being hired year on year and more employers are willing to hire them, there is still room for social services associations to develop social enterprises by self financing, except the government in the beginning will provide an operation fund,” Ip said.

“At the same time profits made by the associations will enable them to develop more types of community services,” he added.

Operations of the social enterprises program have generally been set out, Ip said, and it is expected to be implemented around July or August.

On the other hand, 56 companies, government departments and shops were awarded yesterday for hiring a total of 180 disabled people across 10 different industry sectors.

Of which, public administrative agencies employed the highest number of disabled people at 30 percent of the total.

In addition, most of the disabled employees were hearing impaired at 38 percent, followed by with mental disability at 28 percent and physical disability at 22 percent.

The scheme, co-organised by the IAS and Labour Affairs Bureau, was in its third edition this year.

The numbers of employers having been awarded in the first and second edition were respectively 35 and 49.

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