DEADLINE EXTENDED: Southeast Asian Social Innovation Network  2nd International Conference Bangkok, Thailand 8 – 9 October 2019

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Southeast Asian Social Innovation Network 2nd International Conference Bangkok, Thailand 8 – 9 October 2019

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 1 JULY 2019

This conference aims to showcase the best examples of social innovation research and practice throughout the region, especially the work being carried out in and with universities. Our theme for the 2nd South East Asian Social Innovation Network International Conference in Bangkok, Thailand (8>9 October, 2019) is Exploring the Asian Social Innovation Experience – Theory and Practice.

Increasingly, social innovation is being recognized as critical for sustainable human and social development, capable of addressing the major and interrelated challenges facing society. Across Asia, governments, corporations, social organisations and social investment firms demonstrate the extent to which the social innovation eco-system is growing. That being said, significant challenges remain – including a lack of shared definitions and priorities, uncoordinated support, fledgling networks, unclear policy and limited financial provisions – that undermine progress and impact.

The South East Asia Social Innovation Network is a project funded by the European Commission which helps universities to actively engage in social innovation in order to help their communities achieve sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth, social cohesion and equity in South East Asia. SEASIN’s core objective is to create a new paradigm for knowledge exchange in universities and provide a platform for driven people focusing on innovation, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. We believe that social innovation can solve the most pressing challenges in the world, that youth is the driving force, and in collaboration with a clear purpose – it can all be done. The theme of the 2nd South East Asian Social Innovation Network International Conference underpins our core objective.

More Information here.

Basic Painting and Recycle Art Training Workshop

Basic Painting and Recycle Art Training Workshop

TCU SISU provided basic painting and recycle art training workshop to TCU SISU users for five days. The training was conducted during May 2019. The purposes of workshop were;

  • To increase the number of SISU users who are interested in social innovation
  • To recycle the wasted materials by creating innovative products
  • To increase alternative income source for the SISU users

Totally 30 participants are involved in the training workshop. During the training workshop, Artist Ko Ye (external stakeholder) share his knowledge on basic painting and ideas for creating office and home accessories such as pen cup, photo stand, tissue box, baby toys,etc. At the end of training workshop, the competition for creating product using wasted materials. Then, the Rector awarded the groups who won the fisrt prize, second prize and third prize.

Enabling Academy

In response to the high unemployment rate amongst people with autism, Gamuda Group established Project Differently-Abled (DA) since 2013. Young adults on the autism spectrum were employed as part of Gamuda’s workforce since March 2014. This project was initiated by Gamuda’s group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling as part of the public-listed group’s Diversity & Inclusion programme designed to create an inclusive workplace. To date, Gamuda Group has employed 20 employees who are on the autism spectrum. The success of Project DA has inspired the company to pioneer Enabling Academy, an Employment Transition Programme in 2016 to equip more people with autism to work in professional jobs. This programme is fully sponsored by Yayasan Gamuda [Gamuda Foundation].

Key Objectives of Enabling Academy

The key objective of Enabling Academy is to provide a three-month employment transition programme to enable more people with autism to achieve sustainable white-collar or professional employment which leads to independent living. EA aims to collaborate with Partner Companies to create gainful and sustainable employment for more people with autism nationwide by training and developing a circle of support in each respective partner company. Enabling Academy promotes an inclusive and open-minded work culture that appreciates the abilities and contributions of employees with autism (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Roles of Enabling Academy

Programme Overview and Structure

Enabling Academy has two intakes per year. Each intake recruits a maximum of 10 trainees. There are four key processes involved to promote sustainable employment (Figure 2). As shown at Figure 2, Enabling Academy aims to promote sustainable employment through providing continuous support even after trainees’ job placement. Upon enrolment into Enabling Academy, each trainee will be assigned a job coach to monitor and follow-up on their progress. Individualised support is given to equip trainees with employability skills for meaningful employment.

Figure 2. Key processes involved to promote sustainable development

There are two courses offered at Enabling Academy. Course I and Course II are designed to equip trainees with relevant soft skills and practical job training that are essential for employability:

Course I: Personal Development for Career Sustainability

This course focuses on soft skills development, covers three modules: Personal Management, Career Management and Life Management. Training is conducted in classroom setting with creative approaches that encourage active participations from trainees for effective learning. Lessons learned is enhanced during practical training.

Course II: Job Skills Development

A mock office with simulated-based learning approach is set up at the academy to provide trainee an experience in a corporate work environment with relevant jobs, such as administration, IT assistant or programmer, research assistant, accounting and engineering profession to develop their employability skills. Besides practical job training, basic work etiquettes such as communication skills, accountability, team work and time management are taught in practical ways.

Eligibility Criteria to Join Enabling Academy

Applicants who are 21 years old and above and have an official autism diagnosis or medical report from a registered psychologist/ psychiatrist are eligible to apply for Enabling Academy.

Other requirements include minimum secondary school education (or equivalent), diploma or a bachelor’s degree, possess basic work etiquette and vocational aptitude suitable for any administrative or professional jobs in corporate setting, interested in corporate employment and has the ability to work in an office environment as well as independent living skills. For further details, please refer to appendix 1 (E-flyer of Enabling Academy).

Personnel at Enabling Academy

At present, there are six full-time staff who are professionally trained in the field of psychology, special education or counselling are employed to support the group’s 20 DA employees, 18 graduates from Enabling Academy who have been placed into respective partner companies and 11 trainees who are currently undergoing three-month pre-employment training. Each staff serves the role as a trainer and job coach.

Current Achievement

In the span of a year, from May 2017 to April 2018, Enabling Academy has placed 18 young adults with autism in 15 corporate companies that are partners of Enabling Academy. Their position includes administrative assistant, technical officer (chemical engineering), accounts officer, document analyst, mailing clerk/coordinator, data entry officer and others. 

Conclusion

EA is currently in collaboration with the Malaysia Department of Social Welfare to organise a seminar on Employment Transition Programme (ETP) for key stakeholders such as Department of Special Education, Department of Skills Development, relevant NGOs and Private sectors, in view of implementing ETP as a national programme to equip more people with disabilities for employment. Being a pioneer Employment Transition Programme in Malaysia, EA hopes to be a role model to other employment transition centres in our nation.