Disabled People’s Association (DPA) held its first ever work attachment programme for secondary school students in collaboration with Bukit Panjang Government High School, Singapore. The purpose of this project is to provide on-the-job training to the students to instil in them the right kind of inclusive and professional work attitude. On top of helping them gain useful work experience, DPA hopes to ensure that students go into their future workplaces with an inclusive mindset that they can share with their colleagues and managers.
DPA was contacted by Bukit Panjang Government High School on 20 February 2017 regarding the possibility of work attachment opportunity for their students. After an initial meeting on 2 March 2017, DPA agreed to conduct a Disability Awareness Talk at the school on 30 March 2017, which was attended by 300 students. Ms Asha Karen, DPA Training Consultant, was the person in-charge of the programme and Ms Ong Seok Jean, Head of Department / Co-Curriculum Programme, was the coordinator for Bukit Panjang Government High School.
Four secondary school students were selected for the work attachment project. After an initial orientation session, the students worked at DPA from 29 May to 2 June. Various members of the DPA team provided guidance and support to the students to achieve their targets. The students contributed to the following areas during this work attachment project:
• Student project proposal guidelines
• Accessible route map
• Advocacy training programme
• Community engagement and outreach
The students were given various tasks and each student took turns to lead a project. Their positive approach, responsibility in completing tasks to a high standard and teamwork were commendable. The team showed maturity in their work and completed the tasks efficiently. Upon the completion of the work attachment project, the students were provided with testimonials from DPA.
The work attachment project aided to develop a greater awareness of an inclusive and professional work environment and mindset. Students used this project to apply their academic learning to a relevant work environment. This experience will help them adapt and integrate better when joining the workforce and DPA hopes that it will help them make more informed choices about their future careers.
DPA is proud to say that the student team joined DPA as volunteers for future projects because they want to advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities and raise awareness. Our work attachment projects are designed to help students develop workplace skill whilst highlighting the importance of accessibility and inclusion as part of that skillset. We welcome more students to join us in this journey.