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One-stop centre to help disabled people find jobs

The centre will also provide information and referral services, as well as grants and support.

SINGAPORE: A one-stop centre to help people with disabilities find jobs will open in Redhill in the second half of next year.

Operated by SG Enable – an agency for people with disabilities – the centre will occupy the 30,000 sq metre space which formerly housed the Employment And Employability Institute, also known as e2i.

It will provide information and referral services, grants and support to people with disabilities and their caregivers. There will be a career centre offering vocational assessment, job placement and support services to people with disabilities as well as potential employers. Courses and on-the-job training will also be conducted at the site.

The public can suggest a name for the centre by taking part in an online contest. Details can be found on SG Enable's Facebook page.

"We will develop this site into a shared space where bonds will be forged, and the people, private and public sectors come together to encourage greater integration and inclusion of persons with disabilities within the community." said Ms Ku Geok Boon, CEO of SG Enable.

"Through the services and infrastructure on this site, we hope to enable persons with disabilities to fulfil their aspirations and pursue independent and dignified lives."

Organisations such as the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) and Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) will also have satellite centres there.

"We hope to co-locate essential and critical services within this location so that it brings greater convenience for persons with disabilities, as well as employers who are looking to hire, looking to pick up skills, pick up ideas on how to train and integrate persons (with disabilities) within the workforce," Ms Ku added.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing says the one-stop centre should not just be an exclusive place for persons with disabilities that is divorced from the larger society and community. 

"We do not want to see the community of persons with disabilities as an isolated example at one corner of Bukit Merah without the larger context. We want our persons with disabilities to connect to the wider community just as any other fellow Singaporeans will like to," he said.

37-year-old Edwin Khoo, a braille transcriber, hopes to meet more people and pick up new skills at this centre.

"Hopefully there will be structured programmes and even training opportunities so that we could actually show to employers, potential employers, that (despite) being disabled, we are also well-versed and we could also have the necessary skills to gain rightful employment," Mr Khoo said. 

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