Singapore holds one of the lowest disability employment rate amongst developed cities in the world with only 4.9% of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) employed in the workforce. This means that only 5 out of every 100 PWDs are participating in the workforce and we are missing out on a potential workforce of 160, 000 people. We still have a long way towards becoming an inclusive society.
Do you desire to make your mark despite your physical limitations? Do you know anyone with a physical disability?
The good news is that more effort has been put in to educating the public, as well as organisations, in creating a more inclusive society. Many companies are becoming advocates for a more inclusive workforce with PWD friendly environments. This means there will be more job opportunities for PWDs.
In partnership with SG Enable, these are the top 10 PWD friendly companies - they are recommended based on the following qualities: Companies are not ranked in order.
PWD friendly arrangements
Work opportunities for PWDs
1. United Overseas Bank Group (UOB)
UOB is one of the early adopters to the inclusiveness culture with their launch of "inclusive employment initiative" since 2013. In collaboration with Autism Resource Centre’s (ARC) Employability and Employment Centre, UOB redesigned certain work processes, modified their work environment and training programs to ensure that it is friendly for people with autism. Even the jobs, like checking and digitisation of customers documents, are tailored to people with autism's unique quality of steadfast focus and detailed attention. In addition, UOB provides counselling and supporting services which helped ensure the turnover rate decrease from 50% in 2013 to 5% in 2015; ensuring a sustainable long-term career.
Our local bubble tea chain has recently jumped on the bandwagon to be part of the inclusive culture. Liho is making much effort with their new concept store opening at Cathay Cineleisure this March; with aims for the store to be entirely managed by PWDs. On PWD friendly arrangements, they are partnering with Singapore Association for the Deaf to provide appropriate training to 2-3 PWDs. We look forward to seeing how Liho can provide more opportunities for PWDs in the coming months.
3. Samsui Kitchen (Soup Restaurant Group)
Being the social enterprise branch of Soup Restaurant Group, Samsui Kitchen catered to provide nutritional elderly friendly meals. Samsui Kitchen continues to be inclusive by having these meals prepared by trained inmates in Changi Prison and PWDs in Enabling Village. Facilities are also PWD friendly with low cooking facilities and induction cookers to ensure workplace safety for their wheelchair bound staff. With the expanding business, we can expect more opportunities for PWDs to make an impact in Samsui Kitchen.
4. National University Hospital (NUH)
Through the School-to-work transition programs, NUH partnered with Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Education, and select special education schools for potential intellectually challenged students for internships in various departments. These eventually became their full-time jobs. With SGEnable job coaches and supportive supervisors in place, it smoothened their transition to the workplace with communication and processes adapted to their needs. Opportunities are given to PWDs to move from simpler tasks to more complex roles with greater responsibilities.
Uniqlo believes in engaging PWDs beyond monetary or physical means. To inculcate an inclusive culture, Uniqlo hires PWDs across their branches for their staff to catch the heartbeat of their belief. Uniqlo also provides utilises a basic training system that is easily used by all their employees including those with disabilities. PWDs have multiple opportunities to explore different roles here from frontline work with customers to back room jobs. If you enjoy interacting with people, Uniqlo may be the place for you.
Look out for Part 2 of our series on Top 10 PWD Friendly Companies this month!
Break out of your physical limitation and do something more! Check out our PWD-Friendly courses - Digital Marketing, Communication Design, Website Management specialised to cater to your needs.