The government will implement a policy to allocate 30 per cent of all procurement from local businesses to entities owned by women, persons with disability (PWDs) and those established under the Youth Enterprises Fund (YEF).
That, along with plans to allocate 50 per cent of jobs in the operation of tollbooths to PWDs after the roll-out of the automated tollbooths by the Ministry of Roads and Highways, is part of the initiative to cut down unemployment among PWDs.
The Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, announced this at a career fair organised by the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFDOs) in Accra yesterday.
“This direct intervention is aimed at helping to reduce the unemployment rate among PWDs to provide them with a source of livelihood to break the cycle of poverty facing most PWDs in our communities,” he said.
More than 100 PWDs attended the career fair meant to empower them to take advantage of opportunities available.
They were taken through soft skills such as resume writing and job interviews.
Dr Bawumia said there were about three million PWDs and that they were among the most marginalised and also formed a significant portion of the unemployed in the country.
He observed that disability was not inability, saying, “That becomes a very important factor for employers. If you are an employer or potential employer, you have to understand that when you employ somebody with a disability, it does not mean he or she cannot do the job.”
He said the government was committed to developing a comprehensive inclusive plan with robust interventions for PWDs.
“In order to achieve this, there is the need for accurate and reliable data on PWDs in the country. The national identification system, which is expected to be rolled out this year, will enable the government to capture accurate data and up-to-date information on PWDs which will serve as a first step towards the provision of more and accurate support for the community,” the Vice-President said.
Dr Bawumia entreated employers to consider PWDs in job enlistment as the government worked towards activating Section 46 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), which seeks to offer special incentives to employers of PWDs.
“Persons with disability who engage in business or enterprise will also receive special incentives in accordance with the provisions of the act,” he added.
Some of the PWDs who spoke with the Daily Graphic expressed happiness about the career fair, as it would build their capacity to compete for jobs.
They, however, said future programmes should include training in entrepreneurship to help them create their own jobs.