A second chance to pick up work skills

A second chance to pick up work skills
Mr Goh Jin Kian (left), 19, preparing pastries in the kitchen of Han's Pickering Street branch. A pilot programme helps people with special needs like him get training to work in the food and beverage sector.

SINGAPORE - When Mr Goh Jin Kian failed the test that would qualify him for a certified vocational training course, he did not give up.

He tried again the next year.

When he did not make the cut, he went for it a third time, but was unsuccessful. By then, he was 18 and had to leave Tanglin School, which caters to those with intellectual disabilities.

Without a vocational certification, he is less likely to land a job in future. Disappointed, he became withdrawn and his learning was affected.

Mr Goh, now 19, is one of those who have to leave special education schools when they turn 18 if they do not pass the test that qualifies them for vocational training. The training leads to a nationally recognised vocational certification.

In Mr Goh's case, his mother, Mrs Margaret Goh, decided to do something about it. In April, she started a pilot programme that gives these students a second chance to pick up some skills.

Held at the Centre for Adults, a sheltered workshop run by the Association for Persons with Special Needs, the programme allows students with special needs to be trained to work in the food and beverage sector.

They take the same Workforce Skills Qualifications modules as their peers who go for vocational training.

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