Channel NewsAsiao Online, Wednesday, 24 September 2014 – Skills fair to help disabled increase their employability

The inaugural Skills Training Fair will have career advisory services, grooming tips and talks by industry players.

SINGAPORE: To help those with disabilities increase their employability, SG Enable has organised the inaugural Skills Training Fair, which will have career advisory services, grooming tips and talks by industry players.

The fair is offered under the S$30 million Open Door Programme launched in April and is supported by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency and the Ministry of Social and Family Development. Some 40 employers have joined the Open Door Programme since it was rolled out in April.

Held at the Lifelong Learning Institute on Tuesday (Sep 23), the fair is open to all Singaporeans or Permanent Residents with sensory, physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities.


Participants can better understand the skills required in various industries by attending talks conducted by five participating organisations, which aim to give them insights into different sectors. On-the-spot complimentary career advisory services will also be provided by SG Enable to help the disabled better explore their job opportunities.

A wide slew of courses, ranging from industry skills training like hospitality and food and beverage to foundation skills training like IT and work preparation workshops, will also be offered by training providers on-site. Participants can sign up for the courses at the fair, which SG Enable will subsidise up to 100 per cent if they meet the individual programme criteria after interview assessments.

Participants will also be able to pick up grooming tips and get a complimentary photo shoot at the booth, after which they can use the photos for job applications.

“We hope to encourage more persons with disabilities to come forward to enhance their employability and explore wider employment options through our customised training initiatives,” said Ms Ku Geok Boon, chief executive officer of SG Enable.


“We are encouraged by the increasing number of companies which hire persons with disabilities as a viable source of manpower to augment their workforce. Often, with the right skills, opportunities, workplace accommodation and support, persons with disabilities have proved that they can be equal or even exemplary contributors in the workforce,” she added.

One example is Mr Ken Wong, who has macular dystrophy and is about 80 per cent visually impaired. Despite having a diploma in songwriting and production, he had trouble finding a job for more than two years. However, he continued writing songs during that period.

“In a way, yes because not being able to find a job, having employers reject you, it can be really depressing and you get very exasperated, so I guess I might have written this song as a result of having these feelings in mind, from being jobless and all,” he said.

A few months ago, he found a job as an assistant producer and instructor at Faith Music Centre after he sought help from SG Enable.

“They have work preparatory training, so they teach us how to groom for interviews, for example, how to write resumes, how to write cover letters and basically interview skills to boost up our employability. Being able to do what you love and to actually make a living out of it, is a rare thing, and I am really grateful that I am able to do that now,” said Mr Wong.

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