IHG Hotels & Resorts and APSN (fka Association for Persons with Special Needs) announced a strategic partnership to provide support, jobs and training for APSN’s students and trainees across all IHG hotels in Singapore.
The agreement includes an apprenticeship programme aimed at helping the students and trainees realise their potential, and offers employment and training opportunities, including courses on hospitality, and food and beverage. Colleagues across IHG hotels and office in Singapore will raise funds, conduct workshops and commit volunteering hours as a key part of the venture.
APSN is a social service agency focused on developing individuals with special needs and enabling them to lead dignified, fulfilling and independent lives. It prepares beneficiaries for employment and success via education and vocational training initiatives from their early years through to adulthood.
This announcement comes during IHG’s Giving for Good month of September, where colleagues across the globe go the extra mile to make a difference in their communities by giving back and giving thanks. It’s part of Journey To Tomorrow – IHG’s 10-year action plan of clear commitments to drive change for its people, communities and planet, in association with IHG’s 2030 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion commitments which champion a diverse culture where everyone can thrive.
Rajit Sukumaran, Managing Director, South East Asia & Korea, IHG and Chairman of the SEAK DE&I Council, said: “I am excited to announce this fantastic partnership with APSN. Diversity, equity and inclusion is an integral part of IHG’s culture and we are committed to serving the communities in which we operate. More than three decades have passed since 1989 when Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre became a pioneer in Singapore in hiring people with different abilities. Today, 5% our full-time workforce are people with different abilities, and most of our full-serviced hotels in Singapore are accredited with the SG-enabling mark.
“I am incredibly proud of our leaders across the business who have continually driven and supported DE&I initiatives in Singapore. As travel recovers and Singapore gradually opening its borders to international travel, I’m confident that our partnership with APSN will be further strengthened as we continue to work together to make an impact in our community by creating job and training opportunities and an environment that is truly understanding of others, and embraces differences.”
Royce Seah, Vice-Chairman, APSN Ltd. said: “We are honoured to be IHG’s adopted charity, and are grateful for the steadfast support all these years. It is indeed a true demonstration of a compassionate organisation embracing a strong sense of purpose, which cares and supports diversity and inclusivity. This collaborative partnership will open new doors of opportunity on various fronts for our special needs students and trainees with mild intellectual disability, furthering our mission of empowering and guiding them into an inclusive society.”
IHG has worked closely with APSN for many years to provide full-time employment opportunities, on-the-job training and internships, and organises regular social activities for students in its hotels in Singapore. In turn, APSN conducts training for IHG hotel teams so that they may help its graduates adapt to their new work environment and learn valuable life skills. They take on roles including public area attendants, kitchen stewards, bellmen and servers, and the average stay of each full-time graduate has reached six years.
Thng Kai Bin, APSN graduate and winner of the NTUC May Day Model Worker 2021 award, has worked full-time at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium since 2013. After starting as a public area attendant, he became a bellman, helping guests with their luggage and other requests.
He said: “I’m so happy to have this opportunity. As a bellman, I talk to guests and help them, which is something I really love doing. My colleagues taught me everything about the role, especially how to greet people. I like to meet people and give them a good experience when they visit. I can do that at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, and I hope I can continue working here for as long as possible.”
The strategic partnership includes all IHG hotels in Singapore.