The partnership between SPD and Keppel Group for the SPD Sheltered Workshop supported by Keppel was launched on 3 December, where Keppel pledged $500,000 over the next three years to support the sheltered workshop programme, helping it to stay relevant, current and economically viable in the long run.
Additionally, a team of young leaders from across Keppel’s business units are working with SPD to improve the efficiency and financial viability of the sheltered workshop. Currently, the workshop has a group of seven experienced craftspersons who specialise in providing bookbinding and book restoration services, and making handcraft products, such as journals, notebooks and photo frames for sale. One of the enhancements is to develop a new product line for the sheltered workshop, which is of commercial quality and appeal. To kickstart this process, Keppel Young Leaders and SPD have jointly conducted a market survey in November to gain insights into consumer preferences and purchasing behaviour.
Another area of collaboration is the development of a new apprenticeship programme to groom new talents for artisanal craft work, as well as to enhance the bookbinding process and increase the productivity of the seven craftspersons. Five apprentices, who are lesser-skilled and with higher work support needs, have been identified. With this apprenticeship programme, it will enable them to learn a new skill, to be more engaged and to contribute more effectively at the SPD Sheltered Workshop supported by Keppel. They have started undergoing training to learn how to make new products that could potentially be introduced as permanent items in the SPD e-shop.
“Keppel Young Leaders will continue to refine the training programme with a view to scale up production over the next two years. We will also work with SPD on marketing and branding, process optimisation and distribution,” said Ivan Lim, President of Keppel Young Leaders and General Manager of Specialised Vessels at Keppel Offshore & Marine.
“People with disabilities have potential. What they need is help to maximise their potential to achieve and contribute more, and for their abilities to be recognised. It is very encouraging to see Keppel volunteers and young leaders actively giving back to the community. Through this partnership, we look forward to enabling more persons with disabilities,” said Pauline Tan, senior manager of the sheltered workshop programme.
Besides funding support, Keppel staff will also volunteer at SPD and befriend SPD clients through diverse activities. This year, they have brought a group of sheltered workshop trainees to attend the National Day Parade and organised a financial literacy workshop. They will also be volunteering at the workshop to help with assignments, such as packing and packaging work.
Sheltered workshop trainee Koh Xiang Qing, was one of participants of the financial literacy workshop. “They taught us about managing our money, which is a useful skill for us when buying things. I hope to attend more such workshops in the future,” she said.
We will continue to work with SPD on engagement opportunities and make a positive difference in the lives of beneficiaries,” said Teri Liew, President of Keppel Volunteers.