First job support hub for people with disabilities to open next year in the West

SINGAPORE – The first Enabling Business Hub, a government-funded employment hub to provide job support to people with disabilities, is expected to open next year in the West region, said Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli on Tuesday.

He said in a written response to a parliamentary question by Ms He Ting Ru (Sengkang GRC) that the Enabling Business Hubs will support people with disabilities who need customised work support and a structured environment to work in. Each hub will hire some people with disabilities and prepare others for employment.

He said MSF plans to set up more such hubs in other parts of Singapore following the pilot.

The Enabling Business Hubs, which will be run by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), were announced in the Enabling Masterplan 2030, a road map released last monthon how to support people with disabilities and enable them to contribute to society.

Ms Ting had asked when the hubs would be set up, what their total capacity would be, and how staff will be trained to run the hubs.

Mr Masagos said the hubs will contribute to the masterplan’s aspirational target of 40 per cent employment among people with disabilities by 2030, up from the current 30.1 per cent.

This would mean placing another estimated 10,000 people with disabilities into jobs.

He said staff in the hubs will be trained in areas such as understanding different disabilities and disability etiquette, to better interact with people with disabilities.

They will also be trained to help people with disabilities in areas like communication and job interviews. Training will be held by the Enabling Academy run by SG Enable, and the National Council of Social Service’s Social Service Institute, among others.

Mr Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC) also asked what proportion of public service officers are people with disabilities, and whether the Public Service Division plans to encourage government agencies to hire more people with disabilities to promote diversity.

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a written parliamentary reply that about one in 430 public officers are people with disabilities.

The public service, one of Singapore’s largest employers, has about 153,000 employees.

Suitable job opportunities in the public service are advertised on SG Enable’s job portal, he said.

He added that since 2019, potential job seekers who have disabilities are regularly introduced to human resources teams in the public service, to encourage public agencies to consider hiring them.