HCM CITY, Oct 19, 2012: Finding a job remains a big challenge for people with disabilities. Nguyen Thi Hong Le, a disabled student at the City Job Introduction and Vocational Training Centre, said her sister, also disabled, had applied recently for a job, but was told the vacancy was filled.
Le said she had been rejected even without her application being checked, explaining that it was not true the vacancy had been filled.
Many other people with disabilities received the same treatment. "Firms should not see their disabilities, they should consider their capabilities," she said.
Even when they managed to get jobs, people with disabilities were the first to get the sack when firms laid off workers, she added.
At a recent meeting that National Assembly representatives from HCM City held with disabled people in the city, Nguyen Thi Bon, who has impaired mobility and provides vocational training to people with disabilities, said firms were reluctant to hire disabled people though the laws on this matter were clear.
But the laws did not stipulate penalties for such violations, she pointed out, lamenting that firms did not care to create jobs for disabled people.
"Enterprises often claim that it takes a lot of time and cost to train disabled people. But if they do not provide such people the opportunity, how can they learn," she asked.
She said authorities should closely monitor the situation to ensure disabled people find jobs.
Government agencies should hire people with disabilities since they could do many kinds of work suitable for them — like IT – and pay them reasonable salaries, she said.
Phan Nhat Trung, who works in the IT section in the Pham Ngu Lao ward People's Committee, told the meeting he was paid a mere VND1 million (US$48) per month.
Vo Van Anh, chairman of the city's Disabled Young People Club, said just 2.5 million out of 6 million people with disabilities nationwide were being provided vocational training.
He hoped that more of them would benefit from a project on vocational training that would go on until 2020.
Vocational training centres nationwide should use funds from the project to improve training quality in order to reduce retraining at enterprises, he said.
Tran Thi Bich Ngoc, a disabled student at the Job Introduction and Vocational Training Centre, suggested that these centres also should teach soft skills like communication.
People with disabilities at the meeting also mentioned other difficulties they faced like using public transport and getting other services and education.
Nguyen Thi Dieu Linh said buses were her main mode of travel but she did not find it easy to use them because their floors were too high for her to climb.
She petitioned the Department of Transport to increase the number of buses meant for people with disabilities. Often drivers refused to pick her up as well.
Many public facilities in the city do not have disabled-friendly access, the lawmakers heard.
Diep Duc Quyen said the city should subsidise children of people with disabilities.
He and many other disabled people could not afford to pay for their children's studies.