People with disabilities can soon look forward to better employment opportunities, thanks to StarHub’s sponsorship of an office skills training programme offered at the Society for the Physically Disabled’s Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IAC). The programme, known as the IAC Certificate in Office Skills (ICOS), aims to enable people with disabilities to find open, more gainful employment in administrative positions.
StarHub’s sponsorship supplements the support given by the government to fund the six-month ICOS programme, which will equip job seekers with physical, sensory and developmental disabilities with the skills necessary for an administrative position. Partly accredited by the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications, the structured programme offers modules in information and communications technology, personal effectiveness, work preparation as well as soft skills such as managing workplace conflicts.
StarHub’s donation of $200,000 to SPD covers the course fees of 72 participants over two years. StarHub volunteers and 11 trainees from the first ICOS batch participated in an empowering race that gave the trainees a taste of the corporate work environment. Held across various floors at StarHub’s office headquarters,18 StarHub volunteers paired up with the 11 trainees to complete six office tasks – at workstations manned by other StarHub volunteers – within the shortest time.
To add to the challenge and allow the volunteers to experience the kind of difficulties some people with disabilities face daily, the StarHub employees were given props brought by SPD to use during the race. These included spectacles with stickers on the lenses to limit vision and filled water bottles tied onto legs to restrict movement. Others used motorised wheelchairs to experience mobility impairment.
“Through the StarHub Ability Race, I got to experience the office environment and I hope that the skills that I acquire from ICOS will help me secure a job so that I can be independent,” expressed Norliana Bte Mohamed Ajam, one of the ICOS trainees.“It was a truly awesome experience racing alongside my SPD teammate,” exclaimed Eni Sabrina, from StarHub’s Human Resources department, who had weights strapped to her leg.
“I did not realise how difficult it was to perform everyday tasks simply by limiting the use of my leg. I am happy to be working for a company that allows us to reach out to the community.”