‘Job Shadowing Day’ to help special needs students discover career interests

For helping special education (Sped) school students to get acquainted with various jobs in Singapore, Job Shadowing Day will run as an annual programme from next year, asserted Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development. He was speaking at disability support agency SG Enable's training and career fair at the Enabling Village today in Lengkok Bahru.

This initiative helps the Sped students to various job roles and workplaces in Singapore.  Job Shadowing Day, piloted by SG Enable last year, offers students an opportunity to be attached at workplaces like a hotel, restaurant or government agency for a day.

Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development in Singapore.
Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development in Singapore. Photo courtesy: gov.sg

The Minister added, “The programme will go towards strengthening the employability of Sped graduates.”

Originally, this day was started as some Sped students found it challenging to discover their career interests.

Lee said, “The initiative helps to address this gap at an earlier stage, while students are still in their schooling years.”

He said, “Employers can also benefit in that Sped students represent a manpower pipeline they can tap on. These opportunities to interact will also allow employers to better assess the abilities of our students and their suitability for job roles and in turn, work with our schools to build on the students' skill sets, in order to grow their pipeline of potential employers.”

About 90 students from eight Sped schools, aged between 15 and 18, took part in the programme, which was organised during September this year.  They were attached to 16 employers from various industries. Last year, 80 students learnt about the working world through the programme.

One of the Sped student Nur Farahnisha Sahlan was attached to Pan Pacific Hotels. She did housekeeping tasks such as making the beds and vacuuming the floor alongside co-workers. She enjoyed the work and was also offered a four-month job attachment.

Impressed by her performance, Alice Lee, director of human capital and development at Pan Pacific Singapore, said “Our organisation hopes to attract more Sped students under the programme. I think the one day of job shadowing helps students to have a better understanding of the roles that they would be doing. For employers, we are able to mingle with them and understand how we can work with them.”

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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