Sep. 12, 2017
The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL, Minister Kim Young-joo) and the Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled (KEAD, President Park Seung-kyu) held the opening ceremony of the Gwangju Training Center for People with Developmental Disabilities on September 12th (Tue.).
The Gwangju Training Center for People with Developmental Disabilities is the third of its kind in Korea following the Seoul and Incheon centers and the first such center established outside the capital region.
The opening ceremony was attended by more than 150 people including Employment and Labor Minister Kim Young-joo, Gwangju Superintendent of Education Jang Hui-kook, Gwangju Mayor Yoon Jang-hyun and trainees with disabilities and their parents.
A Training Center for People with Developmental Disabilities is a training facility for exclusive use by people with developmental disabilities whose number has been growing rapidly of late. It provides vocational training to people with developmental disabilities to help them find jobs and job experiences to students with developmental disabilities to help them plan their career paths.
There are about 7,000 people with developmental disabilities in Gwangju alone. The establishment of the Gwangju Training Center for People with Developmental Disabilities is expected to promote employment of people with developmental disabilities in the Jeolla region.
The Training Center's vocational training section is organized in a way that focuses on suitable jobs for people with developmental disabilities, such as shelf stocker job. It is also fitted with training equipment needed to develop new jobs, such as bicycle repair job, for people with developmental disabilities in order to broaden the range of jobs they can get into.
The job experience section is designed to enable people with developmental disabilities to experience ten kinds of jobs, including cinema attendant and clothing stocker, in the same environment as that of a real workplace. Nine companies and institutions*, including Lotte Cinema and SPAO, are directly involved in it.
* Lotte Cinema, E-Land World (SPAO), BGF Retail (CU convenience stores), Chungho Nais, Holiday Inn Gwangju, Ediya Coffee, Chonnam National University Hospital, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Gwangju Metropolitan Government
The Center set up the occupational safety experience section in collaboration with the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency and will provide industrial accident prevention education to people with developmental disabilities after they are employed.
Meanwhile, through the Seoul and Incheon Training Centers for People with Developmental Disabilities, which began to operate last March, a total of 50 people with developmental disabilities have completed initial training courses and 36 of them have succeeded in finding work as of September. The proportion of those finding employment is expected to grow given the fact that some trainees are now in the job placement process.
The Centers are eliciting much interest and participation from special schools for the disabled with a total of 1,040 students with developmental disabilities having participated in their job experience courses.
Employment and Labor Minister Kim Young-joo said, "People with developmental disabilities are particularly vulnerable in terms of employment compared with those with other types of disabilities, so there must be training facilities for them to help them become self-reliant through work."
She also said, "We will do our utmost to establish training centers for people with developmental disabilities in all of the 17 cities and provinces in order to promote their social participation and thus to create an inclusive society for people with developmental disabilities and their families."