Accor has embarked on a five-year partnership with community partners in Singapore to create long-term employment opportunities for persons with special needs.
Named From the Heart, the partnership with Singapore’s Community Chest and the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) will see the hotel giant’s staff across Singapore raise funds and volunteer hours to provide hospitality training to people with special needs, with the goal to create long-term, meaningful employment opportunities within the group for graduates of the college.
“Beyond our commitment to supporting the students throughout their education, we will endeavour to provide inclusive employment opportunities within our network in Singapore,” Garth Simmons, COO, Accor Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and South Asia, said. “The project is aligned with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our dedication to combating all forms of workplace discrimination.”
“We already have some APSN graduates employed within our hotels and we look forward to having even more in our teams,” he said.
The collaboration will last five years, which Accor hopes will help create a more significant impact in the community by allowing graduates time to work through the programme and find potential placements within the group’s network.
Christopher Tay, CEO of APSN said: “This joint partnership not only serves as a platform to empower persons with special needs for independence, but through the various initiatives, brings industry partners closer to the community by creating awareness and understanding. With more opportunities and increased interaction, the keen abilities and contributions of our beneficiaries will shine through as we work towards an inclusive society.”
APSN is a non-profit association focused on developing individuals with special needs and enabling them to lead dignified, fulfilling and independent lives. The Association prepares beneficiaries for employment and success via education and vocational training initiatives from their early years up into adulthood.
Community Chest, a non-profit organisation, which channels resources to the social service sector, will enable the collaboration from a fund-raising and engagement perspective.
“By creating such synergies, we can build an inclusive workforce that thrives on diverse abilities,” said Phillip Tan, chairman of Community Chest.
With Accor From The Heart, the group strives to ensure that persons with disabilities in Singapore continue to receive the education that they need. The name of the programme comes from the fact that Accor sees all of its employees as ‘Heartists’ – masters of the art of hospitality who serve from the heart, with curiosity and inventiveness.