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Survey shows most firms have no concrete initiatives to hire PWDs

While a fifth of companies in Singapore say they are willing to hire people with disabilities (PWDs), the overwhelming majority -- 96 per cent -- have no concrete initiatives in place to actively hire them, according to a survey released on Friday by an international research firm.

SINGAPORE: While a fifth of companies in Singapore say they are willing to hire people with disabilities (PWDs), the overwhelming majority -- 96 per cent -- have no concrete initiatives in place to actively hire them, according to a survey released on Friday by an international research firm.

Spire Research and Consultancy conducted a study with 100 companies listed on the Singapore Exchange aimed at exploring Singapore employers' practices on hiring PWDs.

Though the study revealed that 20 per cent of surveyed companies were open to hiring PWDs as employees, only 7 per cent already employ PWDs, and just 4 per cent had concrete initiatives in place to actively do so.

The 4 per cent also provided training to all employees, regardless of physical or mental disabilities. The training ensured fair career progression and personal development opportunities for all, the companies said.

The Open Door Fund, which gives financial support to employers to hire and train PWDs, was launched in 2007, but only 7 per cent of companies surveyed said they were aware of it; 18 per cent expressed interest in finding out more.

Surveyed companies said that if they did hire PWDs, they would generally employ them in roles such as administrative and clerical positions.

In some cases, they may also consider hiring them for technical, executive or managerial positions such as as engineers, should they possess the required knowledge and skill sets. 

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