StarHub has reaffirmed its support of SPD’s Infocomm Accessibility Centre Certificate in Office Skills (ICOS), an office skills training programme that enables people with disabilities to find open, gainful employment in administrative positions.
For the next two years to 2017, StarHub’s increased $300,000 sponsorship will supplement governmental support for the ICOS programme and aims to train 100 individuals with disabilities. The course equips job seekers who have physical, sensorial or developmental disabilities with the skills necessary for employment in administrative positions. The structured programme offers modules that are accredited by the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications system and covers information and communications technology, personal effectiveness, work preparation as well as soft skills such as managing workplace conflicts.
To commemorate this renewed support, StarHub’s Chief Marketing Officer Mr Howie Lau presented the cheque for the sponsorship to SPD President Ms Chia Yong Yong at StarHub’s corporate office at StarHub Green on 17 September.
“We are grateful to StarHub for renewing its support for ICOS. Only with proper skills and knowledge would people with disabilities have a shot at gaining financial independence and self-reliance,” said Ms Chia.
Before the cheque presentation, 31 StarHub volunteers joined 13 trainees from ICOS in a race held across various floors at StarHub Green. The race consisted of office tasks, such as scanning and e-mailing a document and editing an Excel document, to give trainees a taste of the corporate work environment.
While these jobs may seem simple, people with disabilities can face various challenges in carrying out some of these tasks. Even the StarHub volunteers felt the enormity of the tasks as they put on props to simulate various disabilities. These included spectacles with stickers on the lenses to limit vision and weights strapped onto legs to restrict movement.
Expressing appreciation for ICOS, trainee Mr Richard Foo shared: “I can use some of the skills I have learned in ICOS for future job applications and I learned to communicate better with others. I have met others who are also disadvantaged and have made new friends.”
“Besides learning computer skills, we are encouraged to improve and upgrade ourselves,” added Ms P Malligah, another ICOS trainee. “Our trainer also motivates us to improve (ourselves) after ICOS.”
StarHub was the pioneer sponsor of ICOS when it was launched in 2013. Its initial donation of $200,000 for two years covered the course fees of 53 participants, among whom 25 have found open employment.