Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower
Ms Ong Toon Hui, President/SPD, Mr Abhimanyau Pal, CEO/SPD, Ms Chia Yong Yong, Lawyer/SPD Advisor
Ms Ku Geok Boon, Chief Executive Officer, SG Enable
Mr Iker Ibanez, Managing Director, Accenture
Mr Sim Gim Guan, Executive Director, Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF)
Distinguished Guests, Industry Partners, Employers, Educators, Ladies and Gentlemen
1 On behalf of the Organising Committee (ITE, Polys, SG Enable and SPD), I warmly welcome you to the ‘Empowering Inclusivity for Workforce and Workplace’ Conference.
2 One of the goals of the Enabling Masterplan 2030 is to have 40% of working-age people with disabilities employed by 2030. This is a 10% increase from the current 31% employment rate. Achieving this requires more employers to be committed to support such persons at work, be prepared to adjust and re-design job roles and be diligent in fostering a strong culture of collegiality among employees at the workplace.
3 In today’s conference, we will hear from three groups of people:
- Employers will highlight their strategies and best practices for fostering greater inclusivity at the workplaces;
- Educators will share their programmes and reflections on empowering and enabling students with special educational needs to be more independent and work-ready;
- Specific organisations like Inclus and Autism Resource Centre will share how they provide internship and employment support for these individuals.
Ethan - Successful Internship
4 Let me share the journey of one ITE student, Ethan Koh. Ethan is currently pursuing the Nitec in Electrical Technology course. He has ADHD. To prepare Ethan for internship, he was provided special training sessions on interview skills, essential workplace competencies such as workplace safety, communications with colleagues, supervisors and customers as well as understanding of different workplace situations that he may encounter.
5 Ethan was successfully placed in M Social Singapore for a 3-month internship from March to May this year. Ethan’s job role was to install, inspect and test electrical installations as well as perform facility maintenance and housekeeping in the hotel. A job coach periodically visited and provided Ethan on-site support. Ethan’s supervisors and co-workers at M Social Singapore were impressed with his determination to learn and contribute. They commented that he was one of the best interns they had and would like him to join them as a permanent staff when he graduates.
6 Ethan’s journey illustrates how an ecosystem of educators, employers, dedicated agencies and job coaches can come together to support learning, internship and employment opportunities for individuals with special needs or disabilities. I hope there will be many more such stories as we work together to promote inclusivity at the workplace.
7 I would like to thank the keynote speaker, panel speakers, presenters, facilitators and the organising committee for bringing this Conference to all of us. I wish everyone a productive and enriching conference.