Blue book says employment rose in 2020, with many running businesses
Disabled people have benefited from a fairer Chinese job market in recent years, with more high-quality employment opportunities, according to a blue book released on Tuesday.
Produced by the China Commission on Promotion of Publicity for the Undertakings of Chinese Disabled Persons, Social Sciences Academic Press, and Renmin University of China, it said about 8.62 million people with disabilities had jobs in 2020, up from 8.55 million in 2019.
Among them, around 634,000 ran their own businesses and nearly 2.4 million were in flexible employment. Many found jobs after attending work-skills training programs.
The report said about 382,000 people with disabilities received such training in 2020, with 621 getting professional certification as blind masseurs.
However, the large number of disabled people in China－around 85 million－and prejudices and lower social security coverage had hampered their efforts to live better lives with dignity.
Li Ge, human resources manager at the Beijing office of Sinopec Capital, said recently that it's important to offer job seekers with disabilities suitable vacancies that allow them to play to their strengths.
"Offering them suitable jobs can not only help them realize their value but create value for the companies," she said. "It's a win-win situation."
Li said companies face some problems when planning to hire people with disabilities, such as the need to provide suitable facilities and psychological counseling.
"Take our company as an example," she said. "Though we did hire people with disabilities, they still make up a small proportion of our total employees. So it's hard for them to have their own social circles."
She added that investment in barrier-free facilities and higher work-related injury costs were the main concerns when hiring people with disabilities.
The government has encouraged companies to hire disabled people by providing financial incentives and has released guidelines to help protect their working rights.
Tianjin municipality said in 2018 that any company hiring a college graduate with disabilities could apply for an allowance of 6,000 yuan ($950).
The municipal government also offered 4,000 yuan allowances to encourage the employment of highly skilled disabled people and 3,000 yuan for hiring those with lesser abilities.
Guo Liqun, executive vice-president of the China Commission on Promotion of Publicity for the Undertakings of Chinese Disabled Persons, said that people with disabilities need not only a rich material life but a sense of happiness and security with dignity, fairness and safety.
He said the comprehensive development of the group needs to be promoted to meet their needs for a better life and let them share in the benefits of common prosperity.