…And why VWOs should do the same

Straits Times Forum, 7 May 2013 (print edition)

MS PRISCILLA Poh Beng Hoon makes a pertinent point (“VWOs should hire beneficiaries if they fit the bill”; last Thursday).

Voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) can consider giving priority to their clients, members and beneficiaries when suitable openings are available in their organisations.

In view of Singapore’s tightening labour supply and the increasing difficulty in finding suitable employees, local companies and organisations should consider dipping into a significant yet often overlooked pool of candidates – people with disabilities.

Despite many of them being qualified and capable, this group tends to be unemployed or underemployed due to discrimination and lack of opportunities in the open job market.

In this, VWOs and NPOs that cater to the disabled can take the lead and show the way. Examples of organisations that tap their clients or members for job openings include the Autism Resource Centre, Singapore Association for the Deaf and Disabled People’s Association.

The benefits are manifold – the organisations fill their vacancies and fulfil their self-help mandate at the same time; beneficiaries and clients are able to embark on a career and gain a source of income. Finally, it also serves as a first step towards their acceptance by and integration into the larger society.

Marissa Lee Medjeral (Dr)
Executive Director
Disabled People’s Association

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