Raise the bar of Disability-Inclusive Hiring
The thrust of this Masterclass is to address the employability and employment of Persons with Disabilities to raise the bar of disability-inclusive hiring. To this end, SGEnable has over the years, under the capable leadership of Ms Ku Geok Boon, built a solid foundation and created an identity for PwDs in the SGEnable brand. To me, the name of SGEnable evokes the parlance of a culture that teaches one to fish rather than to give a fish. The famous adage, when you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. When you teach a man to fish, he feeds himself for a lifetime.
Reskilling and Career Transition
At the national level, the Government in collaboration with Approved Training Organisations have evolved the National Skills Framework to facilitate reskilling and career transition, critical to help workforce including the PwDs take up new opportunities as “creative destruction” reshapes the economy and job market.
The Government through its agencies provides wage support, through Career Conversion Programmes, to companies that hire and train job seekers including the PwDs for new roles. The SkillsFuture initiative supports both employer-led and self-directed learning, which can be delivered in-house by companies, or via industry training centres, tertiary educational institutions and private training providers.
Continuous Learning for Relevance & Sustainability
Learning, like a muscle can atrophy if not used. Individuals would do well to continually exercise this muscle to keep toned and remain useful. It is important for PwDs to embark on continuous learning for relevance and sustainability.
A mutually beneficial pact
Employers and the state can help by providing the time and space, as well as funding if needed, for skills acquisition and upgrading. For the employer, this translates into greater output, productivity and job satisfaction, with attendant benefits to business competitiveness and innovation. For the individual PWD, it is about self-actualisation, where engagement, passion and skills come together for personal and collective gain leading to a mutually beneficial pact for the employer & PWD.
All this will result in a Growth Mindset that addresses the importance of lifelong employability and employment of PwDs to augument the talent pipeline. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.
A ground-up Initiative by HCS & its Partners
I am pleased to share how HCS and its partners [Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP), SG Enable, e2i, platform providers Bamboo Technology Systems & Microsoft APAC as well as Fourier Intelligence] are making plans for the commissioning of a HR Shared Centralised Services initiative to be housed under HR Power Bank.
Operating like a “utility service”, HR Power Bank will provide needed HR services to firms who may prefer to outsource their HR Administrative tasks.
The rationale for a HR Power Bank Shared Services model” through outsourcing, is to fill an inherent market gap in the SME sector, where HR professional services are often below par. HR Centralised Shared Services manned by trained HR administrators constituting PWDs, other PMETs and Silver generation will raise the HR bar in SMEs and at the same time, free up stretched SME resources to focus on core operations.
HR Power Bank will act like a “surrogate employer” to provide hands-on training and job placements for PMETs, PwDs and the silver generation. The sustainability of the HR Power Bank hinges on the scalability of the services it provides. With a higher volume of demand, the prices of the services can be lowered and it can provide an attractive option to SMEs to outsource their HR services. It would be more cost effective & at the same time SMEs can be assured of more quality service support.
In fact, this “HR Power Bank” could provide a “good incubator” for new entrants (University, Poly and ITE graduates) into the job market. This incubator is a critical starting point to shape the competencies and mind-set of young graduates about the HR profession and working in SMEs. Both the HR profession and SMEs are important backbones of the Singapore economy. Businesses and firms subscribing to HR Power Bank services will be conferred with the IHRP Badge (IHRP is the National accreditation body for HR Professionalism).
HR Power Bank will provide a safe harbour with calm waters during this uncertain times for this vulnerable fraternity of PMETs, especially the PwDs and will contribute to raising the disability-inclusive hiring bar.
We are grateful to SG Enable and e2i for supporting the HR Power Bank initiative and in funding the reskilling and job placements of PWDs, PMETs-in-transition and the Silver Generation.
On this note, I would like to express my appreciation to Madam President for gracing this event. A special word of thanks to the panelists and their corporations for their unstinting support – UOB Unlimited, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Seoul Garden, Thong Siek, Speco, Fourier Intelligence, IHRP & SGEnable for their participation as speakers and role models for disability-inclusive hiring.
Last but not least the behind-the-scene people, working tirelessly to put up this Masterclass. They are the staff of Istana, SGEnable and HCS, including the moderator Prof Walter Edgar Theseira and Emcee Augustine Anthuvan.
I wish all of you an enjoyable learning and sharing.