Jamaica News: State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne, says that the Government is working to ensure that persons with disabilities (PWDs) have greater access to skills training and employment opportunities.
He said that alliances are being forged with employers for the inclusion of more PWDs in the workplace.
Mr. Mayne noted that PWDs remain one of the most vulnerable groups in Jamaica, and while Census reports indicate that approximately 200,000 Jamaicans are currently living with a disability, fewer than one per cent are employed.
“The Government of Jamaica is working diligently to address these gaps and continues to strive to ensure that persons with disabilities are able to find gainful employment,” he said.
Mr. Mayne was addressing a Ministry consultation on creating access to job opportunities for PWDs at the Sandals Royal Plantation hotel in Ocho Rios on Thursday (July 19).
He said that progress has been made in improving skills training and employability outcomes for PWDs, through the Social and Economic Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Project, which involves partnership with the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).
The initiative is funded by the Japan Policy Human Resources Development Grant and implemented through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank).
Mr. Mayne said that through the project, beneficiaries have been placed “on a path to self-sufficiency and economic independence”.
“Over 500 persons have accessed training opportunities and 320 of them participated in work experience training, and 77 of these persons have been able to secure permanent employment,” he indicated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mayne said that the passage of the Disabilities Act remains a top-priority for the Government.
“We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the necessary legislation is in place to support the welfare and rights of persons with disabilities,” he noted.
The legislation seeks to promote the fundamental rights of PWDs and their individual dignity and autonomy, ensure their full and effective participation and inclusion in society and prevent or prohibit discriminatory practices against them.
Source: JIS News