We are always thankful for opportunities that enable us to share more about our training courses for persons with disabilities in Singapore. Our team at Make The Change is happy and proud of our very own CEO, Michelle, as she went on 938Now to share our programmes live!
Last month, we are humbled to have not only one, but two radio interviews with 938Now.
Together with Michelle, the two sessions touched on the key topic of employment inclusiveness and invited two different guests to provide the perspectives of the employer and employee respectively.
Here are the highlights of our featured session with Keith de Souza and our MTC Alumni Wen Jie:
1. Begin With The End In Mind
Before Wen Jie became our alumni through the MTC Essential Communication Design programme, he was already keen to learn more about design.
Serving in army as a regular, Wen Jie met with an accident 4 years ago that resulted in a permanent disability.
Having the resilience to pursue his interest, he found out about a career fair from SG Enable and took the first step to drop by and explore the options available. Coming across Make The Change's booth, he decide to sign up for a course in Essential Communication Design.
2. A Postive Learning Attitude Changes The Game
When asked about the course, Wen Jie mentioned that he has learnt alot from the lecturers as they were professional and attuned to adjust the pace of the class accordingly.
After six months, Wen Jie graduated with an updated portfolio of digital skills and knowledge in and sent his resume in to Make The Change. He was then offered an opportunity to explore a whole new career with Excel Hardware.
3. A Longer Journey Is Often A Greater Story
Today, Wen Jie is a digital maketing executive at Excel Hardware.
Having an annual turnover of S$20 Million in both online and offline channels, Excel Hardware is a forward-looking enterprise that manufactures kitchen fitting solutions in both domestic and regional markets.
Not only is Wen Jie contributing to the design team, he is also handling the e-commerce platform that is helping to scale the business.
4. No One Starts Out Perfect And All-knowing.
When asked about his first day at work, Wen Jie recalled that he was nervous and not as confident as he is now.
He also shared on how his boss has been good and patience to guide him, and that his team welcomed him warmly. Wen Jie believes that the workplace environment was suitable for him, so there was not much adjustment made to redesign the space.
Also, he doesn't want to be especially looked after, and would prefer to be treated as the other team members and be appreciated for what he can bring to the table.
5. Worrying Hardly Gets You Anywhere
Wen Jie had his own concerns when he was starting out as well- he was afraid of people looking down at him for his disability, and he wonders if he can really measure up to the industry standards.
However, he urges persons with disabilities to not let these fears stop them and step out of their comfort zone to give it a try.
6. Together We Are Better
There is strength in unity when like-minded people pursue similar goals. Ever since the first intake in 2015, 85% of the graduates from Make The Change's programmes have found employment upon graduation.
When asked about the process, Michelle highlighted that communication is the important key. This means that the team will often speak to both the students and their caregivers to explore how this education can benefit them. The barriers to entry are brought reasonably low as SG Enable provides up to 90% subsidies of the entire course fees. Most of the classes are also held in the accessible Enabling Village.
At the students' own timing, they can also practice with the software available at Make The Change's valued partner, M.A.D. School.
7. Empowerment Helps To Bridge Education with Employment
As a training provider, it is important to always consider the bigger picture and align content that will not only benefit the students in their current season, but also their future.
By engaging industry practitioners to conduct the courses, the content is created with the intention to get the students ready for the marketplace.
Of course, Rome is not built in a day and it takes consistency to foster a good portfolio after building up a good foundation. For this purpose, Make The Change has invited potential employers to the classes, as both parties get to understand and share more about their needs, goals and stories.