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Employment a boon for the disabled

Li Lei
Updated: May 18,2020 09:36 AM    China Daily

About 8.55 million registered disabled people in China have jobs and more than 400,000 receive government-funded occupational training every year, a senior employment official said on May 17.

Li Zhong, vice-minister of human resources and social security, said the numbers showed significant progress in the social involvement of disabled Chinese.

China has rolled out rules and laws to promote disabled people's presence in the workplace and to fight discrimination, including a landmark regulation in 2007 that said at least 1.5 percent of staff members in a workplace should be disabled.

Li said social welfare coverage for disabled people is also expanding, with more than 10 million disabled seniors receiving pensions.

"A job is the basis of people's livelihood," he told a news conference held in Beijing to mark the 30th National Day for Aiding Disabled People.

China has been promoting better accessibility in the homes of disabled people and helping them secure employment as part of a broader effort to end domestic poverty by the end of this year.

Around 480,000 disabled people remained in poverty at the end of last year, compared with more than 7 million in late 2013, according to the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

It said 1.2 million escaped poverty last year. Many are working at "poverty relief factories and workshops" that employ large numbers of rural poor or are employed through "welfare jobs"-ranging from forest rangers to road crew-developed by the authorities to absorb rural poor who had difficulty finding jobs.

Cheng Kai, vice-chairman of the federation, said the internet and the e-commerce boom have benefited disabled job seekers as they allow many to work remotely from home.

He said employment gives disabled people not only an income but also dignity and an opportunity to be involved in society.

Cheng urged employers to design jobs that tapped into the strengths of disabled workers, adding that they were often more loyal and dedicated than their more able-bodied counterparts.

"Rather than being a burden, disabled people could become valuable assets of businesses," he said.