10 January 2012, Macao
Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM) and Macao Special Olympics (MSO) held the closing ceremony of “CEM Brightening Stars” internship program at CEM Building today. The trainees obtained certificates from CEM and shared their experiences and feelings about the internship program. The attending guests included Tang Ut Mei, Head of Employment Department of Labour Affairs Bureau, Choi Io Chan, representative of Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, Lok Lai Wun, representative of Social Welfare Bureau of Macao SAR government, as well as legislators Angela Leong, Mak Soi Kun and Chan Wai Chi, members of the Commission for Rehabilitation Affairs, members of CEM Customer Liaison Committee, MSO Chairlady Ada Lo, MSO National Director Siu Yu Hong Hetzer, and CEM Chief Executive Officer Franklin Willemyns.
Franklin Willemyns indicated in his speech that CEM has been cooperating with the Macao Special Olympics since 1996 by recruiting citizens referred by the Macao Special Olympics for vehicle cleaning services. Over the years, CEM has volunteered to sponsor various activities held by MSO while also encouraged CEM staff to participate in voluntary work.
Eight trainees from the MSO worked diligently under six CEM departments, namely Human Resources Department, Procurement and Logistics Department, Information Systems Department, Network Operations & Maintenance Department, Power and Networks Dispatch Department and Communications and Public Affairs Office, over a period of four months. Franklin Willemyns believed that these trainees have learned more social and working skills during the internship program. In addition, the department managers appreciated their working abilities and deemed them as fulfilling the job requirements. Hence, CEM ultimately decided to hire three trainees as short-term contract employees, demonstrating their contributions to the company. Franklin Willemyns took the closing ceremony as an opportunity to congratulate them, and he hopes that CEM can set an example for encouraging other institutions in Macao to provide employment chances to people with special needs and helping them better integrate into the society.
Siu Yu Hong Hetzer, MSO National Director, expressed his gratitude to CEM for proactively fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities and providing internship opportunities to the intellectually-disabled, as well as supporting the “Employ citizens with mental disability, help them integrate into society ” activity to help these individuals give full play to their talents. The internship program “CEM Brightening Stars” is not only an internship plan, but also a training process which brings the intellectually-disabled precious work experience. Siu Yu Hong Hetzer especially thanked all participating CEM staff who spent time and energy guiding the trainees. Under their careful guidance, sincere concern, as well as acceptance and acknowledgement, the intellectually-handicapped felt that their self-worth has been recognized, and therefore, they were more enthusiastic about work as well as aspirations for sustained development. After the internship program, most of the trainees have built a sense of belonging in the company. Although they were reluctant to leave, they all felt more confident to meet challenges in the open employment market after the program. Although various sectors have been paying increasing attention to the employment opportunity of the intellectually-disabled, there are still limited jobs for them. Therefore, Siu Yu Hong Hetzer has called on enterprises to provide more jobs to the intellectually-handicapped so as to promote corporate social responsibility and a sustainable development of social equality and justice, achieving a win-win situation. Looking forward, he expects the government to strengthen support for the intellectually-handicapped, and help them find jobs, optimize and consolidate the supportive services, and continue to push forward social enterprises as a platform for people with disabilities to obtain employment opportunities. At the same time, the government and large enterprises should take the lead to employ intellectually-disabled individuals.
A trainee joining the internship program said on the event, "I would like to express our gratitude to CEM for giving eight of us different responsibilities, for example, word processing, photocopying, faxing, delivery of documents, cleaning PC and filing. As the four-month internship has come to the end, we have to thank all the department managers, supervisors and colleagues for your guidance and care. They have been teaching us patiently and we have learnt a great deal from them. We’ve been getting along well with the colleagues during the course of internship. It is a graduation ceremony for us the trainees today. Despite our reluctance to leave, we’ll bear in mind the guidance and care from all the managers, supervisors and colleagues.