These youths face many challenges in securing and sustaining employment when they leave school, and are not well served by existing employment support programmes which are targeted at older adults or persons with special needs.
The programme, started in October last year, will not only match the youths to jobs in various industries, but will also provide the necessary resources to ensure that they are able to cope with their new role. A multi-disciplinary team comprising of occupational therapists, psychologists and job coaches work closely with the schools to provide vocational assessment, screening, job matching and job support.
Yap Zhi Yuan is one of the graduates who has benefitted from this programme. Zhi Yuan, who attended Northlight School, was born with mild physical deformities. Through the Temasek Cares – Transition To Work Programme, he works at NTUC Fairprice as a Retail Assistant, where he assists in the replenishing of goods and product display. “I like what I am doing,” says Zhi Yuan. “The NTUC Fairprice staff are very patient and take the time to properly train me for my job.” Zhi Yuan adds that knowing there is additional assistance provides a boost of confidence: “I feel greatly supported by the Bizlink Placement Officer whenever he comes to visit me at my workplace.”
With a growing number of graduates from both schools, this programme will benefit many like Zhi Yuan. It has received support from a number of employers, who have signed up to provide employment opportunities, including Silosa Beach Resort, Home-Fix DIY Pte Ltd, and Paradise Group Holdings Pte Ltd.
The grant of over $500,000 from Temasek Cares will help more than 200 graduates over the next 2 years.