Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hotel Industry Apprenticeship Scheme (HIAS) Stepping Stone to the Hospitality Industry

An edge to hospitality industry
BY TAN EE LOO

LIKE most of her peers, Zamsuzliana Ahmad did not know what to do after completing her secondary school education. When she spotted an advertisement in the newspaper on the Hotel Industry Apprenticeship Scheme (HIAS) programme for school leavers, she decided to give it a go and signed up for the programme.

Little did she know that that move would shape her career path and change her life forever.

Zamsuzliana was one of the students in the apprenticeship scheme organised by Taylor’s College School of Hospitality and Tourism (TCHT) in the late 1990s.

She has since moved on to become the sales manager of Dorsett Regency Hotel in Kuala Lumpur after gaining experience at various hotels.

Recalling her early years of learning the ropes as an apprentice, Zamsuzliana says the programme is a stepping-stone to enter the industry.

“You will not know if you are suited for it unless you try. That was what I said to myself when I finished school. Although my parents did not approve of my decision at first, they gave me time to prove myself,” says Zamsuzliana, 28.

Jointly offered by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Human Resources Development Fund, HIAS is a short, yet rigorous programme that provides school leavers with an opportunity to further their studies.

TCHT has trained more than 1,047 apprentices for over 78 hotels nationwide since 1997.
The duration of the programme ranges from ten to 24 weeks.

Successful applicants will be given free education, personal insurance and a monthly allowance of up to RM410. They will also be given a minimum one-year employment at participating hotels.
TCHT chief operating officer Pradeep Nair says the HIAS programme is specially designed for those who are interested in the hospitality industry but have no opportunity to further their studies due to financial difficulties.

“Our campus is equipped with facilities that mirror the real working environment and the programme is taught by full-time lecturers who have lots of industry experience,” he adds.
Students can choose from one of four modules such as accommodation practice (housekeeping), reception techniques (front office), food and beverage service and kitchen practice.

They will be awarded the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia Levels One and Two by the National Vocational Training Council upon successful completion of the programme.

Participating hotels for next January’s intake include Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers, JW Marriot, Dynasty Hotel Kuala Lumpur and Four Seasons Resort Langkawi.

Interested candidates can attend a walk-in interview on Dec 19, from 9.30am to 4pm, at Taylor’s College School of Hospitality and Tourism at Block C, Leisure Commerce Square, Jalan PJS 8/9, Petaling Jaya.

Applicants should apply with PMR or SPM qualifications (with a pass in English and Mathematics). For more information, call 03-7877 9777.

Source : STAR
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