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HK employers encouraged to employ disabled people
( 2003-12-05 22:35) (Xinhua)

The Labor Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has helped 2,267 disabled persons find jobs in the first 11 months of this year, despite the difficult economic situation in Hong Kong.

Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labor Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said here Friday that this represented a successful placement rate of 56 percent of the number of disabled job-seeking registrants.

Officiating at the Enlightened Employers Award Presentation Ceremony and Regional Seminar on the Disabled Persons, Cheung said that as the unemployment rate was high and the job market competitive, disabled job-seekers should strive for continuous improvement and enhance their work skills in order to secure jobs.

"The Labor Department has been providing diversified employment services to them while, at the same time, encouraging employers to adopt an open mind and provide equal employment opportunities for the disabled to develop their potential and contribute to the community," he said.

"The department hence introduced the 'Self Help Integrated Placement Service' to help more than 600 disabled job-seekers annually to obtain the latest employment market information and improve their job-seeking techniques. The program helps enhance the confidence of disabled job-seekers, thus enabling them to find jobs independently. It has proved to be effective as the overall placement rate is close to 70 percent," he said.

"We will continue to run the 'Trial Placement cum Mentor Scheme for People with a Disability' which aims at encouraging employers to gain first-hand information on the work abilities of the disabled by offering them a one-month trial placement," he said.

Employers participating in the scheme were satisfied with the work performance of their disabled employees. As at the end of November this year, 82 percent of the 447 disabled job-seekers, or 365, were offered jobs after the trial period.

At the ceremony, Cheung presented awards to 10 Enlightened Employers to commend their open-minded approach in the employment of people with disabilities.

Vacancies offered by the enlightened employers cover a great variety of positions, including kitchen helpers in restaurants and cleaners in a cleaning service company; clerks in a vehicle workshop; project assistants and technical officers in the Housing Department; lift operators and car park assistants in a property management company; and couriers in a courier company and a newspaper and magazine distribution company.

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