Keppel Group commits $500,000 and contributes capabilities to strengthen the Sheltered Workshop
SINGAPORE, 3 December 2019 – Keppel Corporation has, through its philanthropic arm, Keppel Care Foundation, pledged $500,000 over the next three years to support the sheltered workshop programme run by local charity SPD, helping it to stay relevant, current and economically viable in the longer term.
The partnership was launched this morning by Guest-of-Honour President Halimah Yacob, together with Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD, Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of Keppel Corporation, and the management teams from Keppel and SPD at the SPD Sheltered Workshop, on the occasion of the annual United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The SPD Sheltered Workshop supported by Keppel aims to help persons with disabilities improve their job prospects through providing vocational training, therapy and employment support services. Beyond financial support, Keppel will further contribute to enhancing the sheltered workshop programme through skills-based volunteerism and by organising activities to engage SPD’s clients.
Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of Keppel Corporation, said, “Keppel aims to make a positive impact in the community wherever we operate. Our partnership with SPD seeks to empower persons with disabilities and improve their employability. Through our skills-based volunteerism programme, young leaders from Keppel will bring the Group’s diverse capabilities in areas such as engineering, workplace safety, business development and marketing to improve the efficiency and financial viability of the Sheltered Workshop.”
Enhancements to the Sheltered Workshop will include improvements to its process efficiency and safety measures, the development of a new apprenticeship programme for trainees with higher work support needs, and a new product line to refresh the workshop’s offerings of gift products. Keppel’s support also includes funding kerb-to-kerb transport for trainees who have difficulty commuting between the workshop and their homes due to the severity of their conditions. Such specialised transport service will make it possible for the trainees to get out of their homes and participate in the workshop’s programmes.
“We are confident that this partnership of Keppel, through its provision of financial support and expertise, will enable us to transform our Sheltered Workshop into one producing even higher quality products, with increased financial sustainability. Such confirmation will in turn positively impact the employability and lives of our workers and trainees. The enthusiasm and passion of Keppel in contributing their time and expertise is heartening. This is a good example of how companies can work with charities in an impactful way to support persons with disabilities. We hope this is the start of a long-standing partnership that will motivate and inspire others to contribute in any way that they can,” said Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD.
Please refer to Annex A to learn more about how SPD beneficiary Ms Tan Lay Choo and Mr Alvin Tey Guo Quan are benefiting from the SPD Sheltered Workshop supported by Keppel.
About Keppel Corporation
With a global footprint in more than 20 countries, Keppel is a multi-business company providing solutions for sustainable urbanisation, to meet the growing need for energy, infrastructure, clean environments, high quality homes and offices, and connectivity. For more information, please visit www.kepcorp.com.
SPD is a charity in Singapore that seeks to enable people with disabilities of all ages to be as independent and self-reliant as possible so that they can participate in school, work and daily life within mainstream society by providing rehabilitation, employment and educational support service. For more information, please visit spd.org.sg.
About SPD Sheltered Workshop
The SPD Sheltered Workshop was SPD’s first programme set up to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities who had difficulty securing jobs in the open market.
The workshop started with carpentry work. Today, the Sheltered Workshop provides vocational training including community living skills and sheltered employment to those unable to find work in the open market due to their disabilities.
The workshop has about 150 trainees currently including 33 who are working at the customers’ premises under the supervision of our staff on-site. The trainees are 16 years old and above and are persons with varying disabilities ranging from physical, sensory, developmental impairments which are congenital or acquired through accidents or illness such as stroke. Trainees who are sufficiently competent and show potential for more are then assessed for suitable openings in the open employment market.
Ms Tan Lay Choo and Mr Alvin Tey Guo Quan are trainees at the SPD Sheltered Workshop supported by Keppel
Trainees like Ms Tan Lay Choo and Mr Alvin Tey Guo Quan will get a better chance at maximising their potential and achieving more through the new apprenticeship programme at the SPD Sheltered Workshop supported by Keppel.
Tan Lay Choo
55-year-old Lay Choo has cerebral palsy, osteoarthrosis, a degenerative joint condition, and speech impairment. These conditions limit the speed and quality of her work at the workshop’s assembly lines. Despite these conditions, Lay Choo is always willing to try new tasks and in particular enjoys sewing. Under the newly developed apprenticeship programme, Lay Choo and a few other trainees are picking up skills like leather stitching that would allow them to produce commercially-viable leather products for sale.
“I used to enjoy sewing and I am happy to learn sewing leather and making nice things. I want to become good at it so I can do more and make things to sell,” said Lay Choo.
26-year-old Alvin has a pleasant disposition. He was diagnosed with Dandy Walker Syndrome, a congenital brain malformation, low vision and speech limitations. Alvin can perform simple packing tasks but with some limitation in speed and consistency.
With the new apprenticeship programme, Alvin can be better engaged at the SPD Sheltered Workshop and enhance his creativity as he likes crafts and making things.
“Learning sewing is not easy, but I enjoy learning new skills and making new things,” said Alvin.