Thoughts on the Transitional Employment Development Training

Phoenix Clubhouse held a training session transitional employment development in mid-August. Representatives from Kapok Clubhouse, Take Your Way Clubhouse, and Amity Centre Clubhouse attended the training. We were honoured to have Mr. Ralph Bilby from ICCD to be our speaker, and with Eva acting as his assistant. Anita,  Amanda and I along with representatives from other clubhouses were “students”.

A week before the actual training, everyone had a chance to visit at least one big corporation with Ralph to promote transitional employment. Eva, Ralph and I had an interview with one of the executives of an international advertising firm where I, as a member of the clubhouse, tried to share with him how much we long for a chance in transitional employment.

During the weeklong training, we worked in small groups under Ralph and Eva. We role-played the art of convincing a potential employer to provide us with a position. Basically, we introduced the clubhouse, the Asian Clubhouse Conference, our goal of a part-time job from them, and the difference between transitional and full-time employment. We also explained to them the nature of our members, safety issues at work and the necessity of not having a job interview (since the clubhouse sends out a member suitable for the job).

We visited the transitional employment sites of Eli Lilly and Shearman & Sterling Law offices where Ada, Wing, and Daniel worked. Eli Lilly had an attractive, tidy and classy office with a panoramic view of the harbour. Ada’s boss, the CEO of the company and her colleagues, welcomed us with refreshments. They praised Ada’s efficiency and told us that while they began the project with a view to helping our members, they, in the end, were the ones benefitted from it.

Daniel worked at the Shearman & Sterling law offices, which was an American law firm. They were so impressed with Daniel’s performance that they gave him a permanent job after the nine months of transitional employment, and still retained that position for another member of the clubhouse.

It had been an exciting week for us. We learnt how to talk to a potential employer, and shared with them how a new generation of drugs could help us. All in all, it was a very fruitful week.