The Centre for Civil Society and Governance at The University of Hong Kong (CCSG-HKU) is implementing the Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment, funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. As part of this three-year project, a Diagnostic Study was conducted to assess the current situation of inclusive employment of people with disabilities (PWD) in Hong Kong. The Study helps shed light on possible leverage points for actions and improvement, and provide insights for building collaboration platforms, and upcoming activities. Released today (13 May 2022), the Report identified the challenges of inclusive employment in Hong Kong, and provided an analysis and a series of recommendations based on five dimensions, namely public policy, PWD education, employment and training, PWD employment incentives, and motivation for business organisations.
Through an online survey with 2,715 Hong Kong resident respondents aged 18 or above, the research team found that only 18-27% of the respondents believe that people with intellectual disabilities, special education needs and physical disabilities and people without disabilities have a similar chance of being employed. Less than half of the respondents believe that PWD are an important part of the workforce. Only 36% of respondents considered people with intellectual disabilities an important part of the workforce, and the figures for people with special education needs and people with physical disabilities were 44% and 48% respectively. Despite low levels of recognition of PWD’s contribution to the workplace, the respondents expressed a willingness to work with PWD – 88% of them do not mind working with people with physical disabilities, and 77% and 65% for special education needs and intellectual disabilities respectively. These seemingly contradictory results reflect the public may not understand different disabilities and PWD’s abilities well. However, they hold a positive attitude towards PWD employment, as 60% of the respondents believe that resources should be invested in facilitating the employment of PWD rather than spent on their welfare. Though regarded as important, only 15% of the respondents believe that Hong Kong provides sufficient vocational opportunities to equip PWD for employment. In addition to the survey, the research team also conducted 53 in-depth interviews, 11 focus group discussions with different stakeholders including employers, NGOs, schools, training bodies, self-help groups, PWD and their caregivers, etc. to understand the effectiveness of different interventions.
Dr Elaine Chan, the Deputy Director of CCSG-HKU, made the following recommendations to facilitate inclusive employment of PWD:
- Start teaching the meaning of social inclusion, including towards PWD, from kindergarten
- Explore a greater variety of PWD education
- Consider changing the Chinese terms of PWD and SEN
- Promote knowledge of different kinds of disabilities
- Involve societal imagination to expand PWD job opportunities
- Promote understanding of what inclusive employment means and what it entails
- Promote various ways to support inclusive employment, such as promoting inclusive employment as part of Environmental Social and Governance reporting to the corporates
- Strategical promotion, e.g., employer sharing, industry-specific job fairs
- Enhance coordination between relevant organizations and departments
- Make reference to experiences of promoting inclusive employment in other countries
Professor Wai-Fung Lam, the Director of CCSG-HKU, highlighted that to achieve inclusive employment, the participation of different stakeholders including the government, NGOs, schools, the general public, PWD and caregivers are critical. The findings of this research will also inform the planning of the activities of the Jockey Club Collaborative Project for Inclusive Employment, which will leverage community resources to promote inclusive employment and ultimately an inclusive society.
Please visit our project website to download the full report.
Event photos can be downloaded here.