The first encounter Mr Edmund Toh, Executive Director of Toh Chin Leong Construction Pte Ltd (TCL), had with APSN students was during his first visit to APSN Delta Senior School (DSS) in 2018. Impressed by his interaction with the students in the horticultural curriculum and their training, Mr Toh and his team work with APSN DSS to establish a long-term strategic partnership to provide training and employment opportunities for graduating APSN students at TCL.
TCL is a full-fledged landscaping service provider that manages many landscaping projects for shopping malls, tourist attractions, town councils, government agencies, and residential properties. Currently, the company has nine full-time employees who are APSN alumni. TCL deploys them to be part of the teams managing the horticultural and landscaping projects for Nanyang Technological University and Sentosa Development Corporation.
Diligence is one of the traits that Mr Toh appreciates very much in the APSN alumni he currently hires. “The students are very focused on every task given to them and give their very best at work. As they have been well-trained in school, we are delighted with their quality of work ever since they joined us,” Mr Toh reflected. In retrospect, most of the effort initially was on training and guiding his staff to work better with the special needs students.
Over the years, Mr Toh noticed that his APSN alumni staff have comfortably assimilated into the company and its work. They have grown to be more independent at work and cope better with the ever-changing dynamics each landscaping project may bring. On the other hand, their supervisors and colleagues have learnt to better communicate with them at work, appreciate the value they bring to the company, and ultimately accept them as part of the TCL family.
Mr Toh shared, “It is good to keep an open mind (when engaging with special needs individuals). They are as capable as us, if not more, at work.”