New fashion retail training room for special needs students

SINGAPORE - Special needs students are now able to hone their skills in fashion retail, with the creation of a fashion retail training room, the first of its kind for a special needs school in Singapore.

Called the Retail@DSS, it is a collaboration between fashion retailer Uniqlo and APSN Delta Senior School (DSS). It has been designed to look like an actual Uniqlo store, and currently serves the training needs of 64 students in the school's retail operations programme.

The room, which opened in January, is also a global first for Uniqlo, which hails from Japan.

The room aims to serve as a training platform for people with special needs, and enhance their knowledge and skills in the area of fashion retail.

Mr Victor Tay, president of the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN), said: "In the past, classrooms focused mainly on theoretical learning. This (the room) is a better way to simulate a real-life environment for our students."

APSN currently has five schools, including a centre for adults. It runs training programmes for students aspiring to work in the retail, food and beverage, horticulture and hospitality sectors, and has also introduced lessons in e-commerce at its adult centre.

One student who has benefited from the new DSS facility is Mr Muhammad Saifullah, 19.

"I enjoy learning in the room, and my favourite part is managing the cashier counter at the store," he said.

His mother, Mrs Zanizah Ghazali, 49, is relieved that there is a new training room for her son to learn in. "I want him to have a good job in the future. Since this training room started, my stress and worries are gone."