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Social enterprises praised for promoting employment for persons with disabilities (with photos)

     The Director of Social Welfare, Ms Carol Yip, praised welfare organisations today (May 13) for their dedication in operating social enterprises and creating a harmonious workplace for persons with disabilities while officiating at the Happy Work Place Award Ceremony-cum-Social Enterprises Award Presentation.

     Ms Yip said, "The Government is committed to promoting the employment of persons with disabilities, thus encouraging them to build self-reliance and integrate into the community. The Social Welfare Department (SWD), by providing subventions for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is offering over 12 000 places through vocational rehabilitation services. Recurrent allocation has been earmarked in the 2015-16 financial year to provide another 500 places at the Integrated Vocational Rehabilitation Services Centre to strengthen vocational training support for people with disabilities.

     "We will also explore the implementation of a pilot scheme under the Lottery Fund to train ex-mentally ill persons to serve as 'peer supporters' so as to provide support and encouragement for others in rehabilitation. The pilot scheme can also provide job opportunities for 'peer supporters' to improve their self-confidence and better equip them for future employment," she added.

     By running the Enhancing Employment of People with Disabilities through Small Enterprise Project (3E's Project), the SWD has helped to increase working opportunities for persons with disabilities by granting seed money to NGOs to set up small enterprises. Since the launch of the 3E's Project in 2001, more than $80 million has so far been granted in total, providing sponsorship for 95 different kinds of small businesses and creating more than 710 job opportunities for persons with disabilities.

     The Marketing Consultancy Office (Rehabilitation) of the SWD organised "Happy Work Place" voting last year to encourage members of the public to gain a better understanding of the social enterprises funded by the 3E's Project. Trophies were presented to the top 10 enterprises selected as "My Favourite 3E Social Enterprises" under the Happy Work Place voting, as well as to other outstanding and caring social enterprises, to commend their efforts and contributions.

     Other officiating guests at today's ceremony included the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Enhancing Employment of People with Disabilities, Mr Ivan Ho, and the Chairman of the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, Mr Herman Hui.

Ends/Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:05


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