Call to boost employment of disabled people

08:56, June 13, 2011      

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China should increase the charges imposed on employers that fail to hire the number of disabled people required by law, said experts at a conference addressing disabled people's employment, which was held in the capital city of East China's Jiangsu province on Saturday.

Companies and organizations in China are required to pay money into an employment security fund for the disabled if they provide less than 1.5 percent of their jobs to people with disabilities. The government also offers tax cuts for those that employ more disabled people.

However, the employment rate of disabled people in the country remains lower than 50 percent, according to the latest statistics from the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

Given some employers' negative attitude toward taking in the disabled, the government should consider charging them more, said Qiao Shangkui, deputy director of the department of social development under the Research Office of the State Council.

The labor surplus in China is another challenge to improving employment prospects for the disabled.

In the next five years, the problem of labor supply exceeding demand will continue in China, said Zhang Xiaojian, vice-minister of human resources and social security, who is also president of the China Association for Employment Promotion.

According to Zhang, about 25 million potential workers will enter the job market in China's cities each year, competing for 12 million jobs.

To relieve employment pressure, the government will work hard to boost the development of the service industry, which currently provides jobs for 35 percent of China's working population, Zhang said at the meeting.

The government will also encourage the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, which will eventually recruit more people, especially the disabled, Zhang said.

Besides the meeting, the fourth National Vocational Skill Competition for Disabled People took place in Nanjing.

The two-day competition attracted 788 contestants from across the country. The contestants demonstrated their talents and skills in 30 events, including traditional Chinese massage, hairdressing and animation design.

Zheng Biao, who lost his left leg in a car accident when he was a boy, told China Daily he has participating in the photography contest for the third time.

"I came here not only to compete for glory, but also to demonstrate that disabled people like me can do almost everything that ordinary people do," said the 43-year-old from South China Guangdong province. Zheng said this kind of competition helps to remove some employers misgivings about the disabled.

Source: China Daily
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