A new school-to-work transition programme will give students with special needs greater support when they move on to the workplace, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat.
Speaking on Tuesday at the official opening of the Association for Persons with Special Needs' (APSN) Delta Senior School, Mr Heng said his ministry will work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development and SG Enable to develop this pilot bridging programme for more special needs students.
"The idea is to provide customised job opportunities and training that are designed based on the students' diverse profiles and needs," he said, beyond the current national vocational certification programmes for students with mild intellectual disabilities.
Mr Heng said a multi-agency committee has been formed to develop a transition programme that will start in a student's final year of school, and continue after he has graduated and started work.
The committee will work with a few special education schools serving different disability profiles to pilot this initiative from this year to 2015. The programme will be rolled out to more of such schools in phases from 2016 onwards, he told the audience of 300 guests including parents and students.
Delta Senior School was set up in 1997 as a post-secondary vocational school for youth aged 16 and above with special needs. It helps prepare them for jobs matched to their abilities and provides behavioural training.
Delta Senior School, which moved to its Choa Chu Kang campus in June last year, offers students the workforce skills qualifications programme in four areas of vocational areas: hotel and accommodation services, horticulture and landscape operation, food and beverage services, as well as retail operations.
The special school is one of four run by APSN, which was established in 1976. The others are Chaoyang School, Katong School and Tanglin School. The association also has a centre for adults providing education and vocational training for the mild intellectually disabled.