Employment rate of graduates of special education schools

Published Date: 11 October 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Desmond Choo, Tampines GRC

Question

To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Schools) (a) what is the current employment rate of graduates of special education schools; and (b) what are the efforts to help special needs Singaporeans to find employment.

Response

What is the current employment rate of graduates of Special Education (SPED) schools

Each year, about 300 students graduate from the SPED schools. Due to the diverse range of disability profiles, these students have different degrees of readiness for work or further studies. About 1 in 3 move on to regular employment in a wide range of industries, including Retail, Hospitality, Medical Services, and Food & Beverage. About half move on to sheltered workshops or day activity and care centres. About 10% move on to further studies.

What are the efforts to help special needs Singaporeans to find employment

A proactive, whole-of-government approach is adopted in helping students and persons with disabilities gain employment in order to live independently and be integrated in society.

MOE has put in place various measures to better prepare students in SPED schools for employment.

  1. A Framework for Vocational Education guides SPED schools to develop a structured curriculum to equip students with life skills and work habits to be employable. This includes participation in authentic and structured work experience.
  2. Students who obtained either the ITE Skills Certification at Metta School or Workforce Skills Qualification at Delta Senior School may apply for jobs in the open market or attend further training as long as they meet the pre-requisites for the courses, e.g. the National ITE Certificate.

Persons with disabilities can seek employment assistance and training opportunities from SG Enable.

In 2014, MOE collaborated with MSF and SG Enable to develop the School-to-Work (S2W) Transition Programme for students who have potential for work but may not benefit from the certification programmes. The programme begins in the student’s final year of schooling and continues for up to one year after he/she graduates. This allows SG Enable to work with students and their families in the final schooling year to place students in appropriate jobs or job training pathways based on their interests, strengths and preferences. After they graduate, students receive customised job training, including structured internships with support from Job Coaches, to prepare them for eventual employment.

SG Enable also provides internship opportunities for special needs students in tertiary institutions.

Employers may approach SG Enable for advice on, and support for, employing persons with disabilities. They can use the Open Door Programme for funding job redesign, workplace modification and training; and can also benefit from the Special Employment Credit when they hire persons with disabilities to offset cost of wages.

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