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Efforts in Singapore to help companies be more inclusive to those with autism

Minister Josephine Teo, Singapore's Minister for Manpower, recently addressed queries around how companies can be more inclusive to individuals with autism, in response to MP Cheng Li Hui.

Currently, the following efforts are underway to help companies hire individuals with autism:

  • Up to 16% wage subsidy, through the Special Employment Credit, to employers who hire persons with disabilities (PwDs), including persons with autism,
  • An additional 6% subsidy for PwDs above age 67,
  • Open Door Programme (ODP), which is administered by SG Enable with funding support from Workforce Singapore (WSG), provides job placement and job support services for PwDs and their employers,
  • PwDs can tap on the job matching, training and other support services provided by partner organisations, including the Autism Resource Centre
  • Grant support for employers for job redesign and training.

From January 2016 to March 2019, Minister Teo cited, more than 2,000 PwDs were placed with close to 750 employers through ODP.

However, she noted that some employers and PwDs may have reservations about job fit and suitability of the work environment. To address these, Career Trial provides opportunities for employers and PwDs to try out each other and assess job fit. During the trial, which can be up to three months, jobseekers receive a training allowance from the Government.

ALSO READ: UOB collaborates with public sector on new inclusive hiring initiative

Among efforts to help PwDs, including persons with autism, integrate into the workforce, she cited the Job Redesign Guide for Inclusive Employers launched last month, which provides step-by-step information for companies on how they can redesign jobs.

SG Enable also runs disability management workshops and a biennial Inclusive Business Forum to equip employers with knowledge and skills on how to recruit PwDs and integrate them into the workforce.

Further, she said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has set up a Workgroup, comprising members from the people, private and public sectors, to explore ways to better support PwDs in gaining employment.

Photo / StockUnlimited

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