SINGAPORE - More than 7,000 people with disabilities have found jobs through Bizlink since it was set up 27 years ago.
The milestone was revealed by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was speaking at a job fair organised by the North East Community Development Council, with support from the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, in Sengkang on Saturday.
Bizlink chief executive Alvin Lim said recent employment trends - particularly the demand for workers in sectors such as retail, cleaning and food and beverage - have helped the non-profit organisation refine its initiatives. Bizlink helps those with disabilities find work.
In fact, employers in those sectors are more supportive when it comes to hiring people with disabilities, said Mr Lim. "That's why food and beverage is our latest social enterprise," he added, referring to a cafe Bizlink has set up to prepare workers for jobs in the sector.
The Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore also plans to set up a cafe and laundry service next year for the same reason. Its executive director Jessie Holmberg said: "Most of the jobs in the open market our trainees have taken up so far are in restaurants and fast-food chains."
"We've also had cleaning agencies approaching us to hire our trainees."
Most job placements at the Centre for the Physically Challenged (CPC) are also in the service industry, said centre manager Penny Chan. The CPC has been training people with disabilities to be architectural draughtsmen since 2010, to expand their job options.
Ms Chan also said employers are now more proactive when it comes to hiring people with disabilities. One of those employers is Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, which requires that persons with disabilities make up at least 2 per cent of the group's entire workforce.