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Labour Department launches pilot scheme to provide psychological and emotional counselling for job seekers with disabilities
     To strengthen employment support for job seekers with disabilities, the Labour Department (LD) launched a pilot scheme today (September 1) to provide job seekers in need with a free psychological and emotional counselling service. The new service will be provided by a non-government organisation commissioned by the LD's Selective Placement Division (SPD), which provides employment services to job seekers with disabilities fit for open employment.
     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, "The Government's policy objective in promoting employment of persons with disabilities is to enable them to unleash their potential by equipping them to take up jobs with productivity in accordance with individual ability.
     "The LD has been providing employment services for persons with disabilities who are fit for open employment to seek suitable jobs. The department has been running the Work Orientation and Placement Scheme with a view to enhancing the competitiveness of job seekers with disabilities through pre-employment training, and encouraging employers to employ persons with disabilities and provide them with coaching and support through the provision of an allowance. The new pilot scheme will further enhance the LD's employment support service for job seekers with disabilities."
     Under the two-year pilot scheme, the LD has appointed Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service as the service provider to offer professional psychological and emotional counselling to job seekers with disabilities in need who are registered with the SPD. The counselling service will be provided by registered social workers of the service provider, which has expertise and experience in this respect. The new service will serve to alleviate the emotional problems of job seekers with disabilities arising from the state of their disabilities or personal or family matters, so as to help them concentrate on job search and settle down in their new jobs, thereby realising their potential in employment. 
     During the operation of the pilot scheme, the LD will continue to provide employment services, including employment counselling, job matching and referral, and follow-up service upon placement, to job seekers with disabilities. For more information, please visit the dedicated website of the SPD at www2.jobs.gov.hk/isps or call the branch offices of the SPD at:
Hong Kong Office: 2852 4801
Kowloon Office: 2755 4835
New Territories Office: 2417 6190
Ends/Thursday, September 1, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:03
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