Singapore’s third Enabling Masterplan will help more people with disabilities find work

Author: PM editorial | Date: 21 Dec 2016

The plan makes recommendations for improving employers’ capabilities to hire people with access requirements

Singapore has published its third Enabling Masterplan – a national roadmap for improving the lives of people with disabilities.
 
Part of that plan is to increase the range of jobs open to people with disabilities by improving transport infrastructure and making workplaces more accessible.
 
The third edition of the masterplan covers 2017 to 2021. The first Enabling Masterplan began in 2007, when the government doubled the budget it allocated to services for the disabled.
 
With an ageing population and the prospect of a manpower-lean economy, Singapore is looking for ways to get as many people into work as possible. Next year, the re-employment age will be raised to 67 to allow senior employees to keep working if they wish. Making sure that those who want to work can work is an obvious way to cope with the predicted lack of manpower.
 
National Council of Social Service vice-president Anita Fam wrote in the masterplan’s foreword that the panel was “mindful of the need to enable persons with disabilities to transition through the various life stages with the appropriate support and guidance.”
 
The Enabling Masterplan includes 20 recommendations made by a panel of experts, among them a call for the government to set up a dedicated disability office to meet disabled people’s needs more comprehensively throughout their lives. Improving employers’ capabilities to hire people with disabilities and ensuring carers get enough help are also on the agenda.
 
There were also calls for stronger partnerships across the education, health and social service sectors, so that they can work together, pool resources and offer more seamless support.
 
Under the second masterplan, enacted in 2013, the agency SG Enable was set up to provide greater employability training for people with disabilities and improve their employment options.