Team Taiwan outperforms at Abilympics in France

Taiwan’s record medal haul of 10 golds, four silvers and two bronzes saw it finish second overall at the recent International Abilympics in France, underscoring the success of the government in providing vocational education and training opportunities for the disabled.

Team members defended their golds in basic dress-making, computer programming, cooking and pottery, while bagging first-time golds in advanced data processing, advanced electronic assembly and tailoring. Other first place-getters were in cabinet-making, advanced and basic, as well as silk painting.

At a ceremony April 12 at the Presidential Office in Taipei City, President Ma Ying-jeou described the medalists at the ninth edition of the world’s biggest workskills competition for persons with disabilities as representative of Taiwan’s world-class talent pool.

“They are testament to the effectiveness of developing vocational skills through education and cross-sector collaboration,” he said. “Over the past eight years, the government has earmarked NT$25 billion [US$771.5 million] for continued upgrade and transformation of Taiwan’s technical and vocational education.”

According to the president, this commitment is complemented by a raft of academic-industry training programs, in addition to a tuition-free incentive aimed at encouraging more students to pursue a skills-based career path.

“Through the two-pronged approach of assistance and incentive, the government helped 21,800 persons with disabilities find jobs in 2015, with successful employer-employee matchmaking rates rising to 59.5 percent from 36 percent in 2007.”

Statistics from Ministry of Labor reveal that numbers of disabled workers employed across the public and private sectors topped 79,000 last year, up 65 percent from eight years ago. This demonstrates that government policies are helping unlock the potential of this talent-laden segment of the labor force.

The rising profile of Taiwan’s disabled workers reflects the strength of the nation’s vocational education system as a whole. Graduates are renowned for their skill sets and highly sought after by employers at home and abroad.

Source: Taiwan Today