With support from the British High Commission in Sierra Leone, Dorothy Springer Trust (DST) has on Thursday 10th March, 2016 at Pultney Street in Freetown launched a recruitment bureau to help people with disabilities gain sustainable employment.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, the CEO of the Dorothy Springer Trust, Dr. Abdulai Dumbuya said the Employment Bureau seeks to complement DST existing training and employment scheme in order to promote the prosperity of people with disability through gainful employment. ‘’ If disabled persons are employed they will be able to support themselves, their families and make positive contributions to the development of Sierra Leone”, DST CEO explained.
He furthered that the Employment Bureau is an exciting opportunity, since Sierra Leone Government Agenda for Prosperity (A4P) outlines key aspirations for the country’s development. The core aspect of A4P he said is the determination to equip young people with the right skills and training that can enable them gain sustainable employment. Dr. Dumbuya also highlighted some of the things that are preventing institutions to recruit People with Disabilities. Among some of these barriers he said are: lack of access to government buildings, misconception about disabled people, and discrimination by employers. He called on government and private sector institution to sort out some of these problems so that disabled persons will be gainfully employed.
Alfred Akibo Betts Jr, who is attached to the National Revenue Authority, said Government is really committed in providing incentives to organizations, so that they will be able to support persons with disabilities. ‘’ Government has made provisions for tax exemptions such as Goods and Services Tax (GST), disabled items imported to Sierra Leone, etc.’’ he pointed out. He appealed to potential recruiters to employ people with disabilities. ‘’ Employing people with disability can go a long way to show the true value of any organizations’’ he added.
In delivering the key notes address, the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Peter West said the commission is delighted to provide a startup support for the establishment of DST Employment Bureau.’’ The British Government is really committed to help Post Ebola Sierra Leone, and also we will continue to maintain a good relationship with Dorothy Springer Trust’’ said HE Peter West. He congratulated and heaped praises on Dr. Dumbuya, who he said is providing effective and efficient leadership at DST.
Idrissa Dumbuya , who represented the Minister of Labour commended DST for establishing the Bureau. The specialized Employment Bureau for the disabled is a step in the right direction. According to him the Persons with Disability Act 2011 has provisions to protect persons with disabilities against discrimination and secure employment for persons with disability; skilled and qualified persons with disability must not be denied employment or given different conditions of service in terms of salaries and allowances etc. He said that the Ministry of Labour is committed to ensure that stipulations in the persons with Disability Act of 2011 are complied with.