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Skilled work for disabled on increase

By:China daily 2023/5/16 16:23:16
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Rise in such jobs over manual labor tied to internet and livestreaming

China continues to promote the employment of people with disabilities to achieve the national goal of common prosperity.

As of the end of last year, 9.05 million registered people with disabilities had found jobs, and between 2017 to 2021, more disabled people have found jobs in skill- and knowledge-based positions, rather than labor-intensive ones, according to a report released on Monday by the Social Sciences Academic Press, which focuses on the disabled cause.

It said that the disabled population stands at 85 million, accounting for roughly 6 percent of the national population, and thus their employment — the major source of income — matters to the goal of creating common prosperity.

Allowing for their large population, the disabled still face problems landing jobs due to weaker education and skills, job discrimination and the lack of accessible working environments.

To better their employment, governments, social organizations and companies have channeled efforts and resources in the past few decades toward helping to reduce job discrimination against the disabled by improving public awareness and legislation, and introducing more support policies.

For example, a law to protect the disabled introduced in December 1990, was amended in 2008 and 2015 to stress the right to work. From the early 1990s, central departments started to explore new mechanisms for employing a certain proportion of disabled people, which was later clearly defined in a State-level regulation in 2007 that requires the disabled to make up no less than 1.5 percent of a company's employees.

Local authorities and social organizations have found new solutions to help more disabled people land jobs by taking advantage of the digital economy and flexible employment.

Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, set up an assisted subsidized employment institution with financial support from AAC Technologies in February last year. About 68 people with mental or physical disabilities have been employed so far to do manual work such as assembling electronic components, or to do needlework for leather products.

Cai Xiaofeng, 33, who suffers from polio, said that she had borne the pressure of raising three children while jobless because of her disability, but her situation has improved since she started working at the institute last year.

"It takes about 10 minutes to reach work on my electric scooter. I earn about 3,000 yuan ($430) per month and work from 9 am to 5 pm, and my workload isn't heavy. I am now also able to take care of my family," she said.

Nanning also set up an entrepreneurship center for livestreaming last year with support from local companies, which has so far trained 100 disabled people, helped two become livestreaming anchors and another eight find jobs in the livestreaming sector.

Li Xia, an official from the Jiangxi Disabled Persons' Federation, told a news conference in Beijing on Monday that although the province has a weaker manufacturing base and a shortage of job vacancies, it has promoted the employment of disabled people in recent decades.

"We have introduced 30 support policies for the employment of disabled people," she said. "About 398,000 registered disabled people of working age — out of 683,000 in the province — had found jobs by last year, as had nearly 98 percent of graduates with disabilities."

Zheng Gongcheng, director of the Institute for Disability Research at Renmin University of China, told the news conference that the disabled cause will become more important to national development in the future as legislation, employment and healthcare for the disabled are improved. He said that the use of the internet will create more opportunities for the disabled.

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