A few days ago, I was lucky to be at an event that is dedicated to help young Malaysians to hone and enhance their skills for future work. The event was graced by Mr. Abdul Wahab Long, CEO of Food Bank Malaysia who was there on behalf of YB Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) who was in Johor on the day of the event.
Along with Mr. Abdul Wahab Long are invited panelists who shared their experiences on the workforce. Panelists involved were:
- Dato Sri Michael Kang, President of SME Malaysia
- Dato Dr Chef Wan, Celebrity Chef
- Datin Winnie Loo, Founder of ‘A Cut Above’
- Dr Janson Ang, Founder of The Giving Bank Organization
- Mr Adair Ford, CEO of Institute of Commercial Management (ICM), UK
- Ms Low Gi Yi, ISP Student undergoing the ICM, UK program
The panelists were there as a part of a discussion on the topic “A paradigm shift in education & training – Skilled apprenticeship model” and was moderated by Prof. Dato Dr Jayles Yeah, Chairman of AIMSMET Group.
Launching of AIMSMET Lifestyle Service and Panel Forum
What is AIMSMET Lifestyle Service?
AIMSMET Lifestyle Service focuses in providing real hands-on experience to complement the conventional textbook theories in Business Studies and Hospitality Management. Learners will be equipped with both F&B skills and encouraged to explore their potentials in other related industries within their one-year Industry Sponsorship Program (ISP). AIMSMET Lifestyle Service is established to be one of the most popular Skilled Apprenticeship Centres of ICM, UK.
AIMSMET and ICM, UK have recently launched an Industry Sponsorship Program (ISP) to help Malaysians have a more skilled future through their Skills Apprenticeship Scheme. In short, it is called the “Earn While You Learn” Program.
What’s great about this program is that it is not the usual Asian-type success that we have always been taught or bombarded with since the day we enter school. It is not just about academics but it is also about being equipped with technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
School-Leavers who are equipped with the right skills and experience will have better opportunity at employment, even at a young age.
In Malaysia, there are two sectors that lack work force which are Service and Sales. The problem lies with the lack of English fluency, lack of communication skills, customer service skills and the ability to multi-task. So, retail sectors like Food & Beverage (F&B) have problems in finding workers.
Now here’s where the ISP comes in to help.
AIMSMET have collaborated with more than 30 industries in Malaysia ranging from F&B to Digital Economy to Client Services. They have worked with companies like Starbucks Coffee Company, McDonald’s (Gerbang Alas Restaurants), Marrybrown, Only World Group (OWG), Watsons and many more.
These companies have sponsored more than 80 school leavers through the ICM programs. How? When students take up the ISP program with AIMSMET and ICM, they not only have classes to attend to but they also have trainings (a job) at these companies that collaborated with AIMSMET and receive monthly allowances too!
Most of the students of these programs are those who are not academically successful or come from B40 or poor families. Most of the time they are unable to further studies due to their results and yet they also need hands-on skills in order to get into the working field.
By joining the ISP program, they will have knowledge and skills in business or management or hospitality and will be able to work in those fields immediately after they leave the program.
“The aim of this Industry Sponsorship Program (ISP) is to bridge the gap and speed up the pace in producing knowledge workers through the private sector. We hope to see positive spin-off for the economy as we are able to proving skilled knowledge workers for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country,” said Prof. Dato Dr. Jayles Yeoh, Chairman of AIMSMET Group.
Before the panel forum began, both AIMSMET and ACT presented a cheque of RM20,000 to support Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia. The cheque was received by the CEO of Food Bank Malaysia, Mr. Abdul Wahab Long.
During Mr. Abdul Wahab Long’s speech, I found out that only last month, the Dewan Rakyat Malaysia has recently approved the Food Donors Protection Bill 2019.
According to Mr. Abdul Wahab Long, in 2017 alone, 15,000 tonnes of food had gone to waste and mostly dumped at the landfill. Out of that number, 3,000 tonnes are good and usable food (raw or otherwise). Did you know that 3,000 tonnes of food can feed more than 2,000,000 people?
All these good food going to the landfills just show how shameful we are as human beings. We have many poor citizens who sometimes could not even afford basic necessities to eat and yet we are dumping good food because most people (especially companies or F&Bs) are afraid that by donating the food they have might get them a lawsuit instead of a “Thanks”.
With the approval of the Food Donor Protection Bill 2019, companies can donate their food and the government will protect them from any civil problems. On a bigger scale, more people can be helped and burden can be lifted off some of the citizens’ and government’s shoulders.
The Food Bank initiative by the Government is also one of the best way to help the citizen – especially students from poor family, to survive daily. Did you know that Malaysia is the only country whose Government is the one who takes initiative for a Food Bank? In other countries with Food Banks, only NGOs are the ones taking this initiative.
As citizens on a whole, let’s reduce wastage (food, resources, etc) and contribute in helping those in need too. If we lack in certain knowledge or area of expertise, we should seek knowledge and skills to improve our lives (daily or work) and create a better future for ourselves and country.
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