HOSPITALITY and tourism students at SEGi College Kuala Lumpur (SCKL) recently enjoyed prawn cocktails with celebrity chef Datuk Ismail Ahmad at a launch that marked SEGi’s appointment as the new Centre of Excellence for Hospitality and Tourism.
As the new Centre of Excellence appointed by the Education Ministry, SEGi is tasked with championing the provision of skilled and knowledgeable workers for the workforce.
SEGi is engaged with industry experts like Chef Ismail, Universiti Teknologi Maraand Citin Group that are renowned in their respective fields, said SEGi College Hospitality and Tourism School head David Foo.
“Their roles as advisors and ambassadors will be to contribute towards the improvement of programmes to meet industry needs and also to engage students in talks and lectures,” said Foo.
The college also has partnerships with 75 hotels in a wide range of niche markets.
“These industry partners enable students to receive a complete training experience through internship placements,” said Foo.
“Placements directly or indirectly lead to employment upon a student’s graduation,” he added.
An additional expenditure of RM1mil has been allocated for academic staff development, expansion of kitchen facilities and upgrading of relevant hardware and software to improve the programmes.
“We aim to have a hospitality course that gets students hired,” said SCKL deputy principal Dr Doris Alexius.
Corporate partners also attended the laun-ch event to offer their support.
“We sometimes collaborate by posting up job or internship opportunities during recruitment fairs,” said Country Heights Holdings Berhad senior executive Tan Siu Theng.
Meanwhile, Chef Ismail who was named as one of the incoming industry advisors, shared his sentiments about his new role.
“When I was asked to be an advisor, I was very glad because I saw it as a chance to impart everything I know to the future of the nation.
“Culinary arts has always been my greatest passion, but teaching and guiding also keeps me going,” he said.
Drawing on his expertise as a successful icon of the hospitality and tourism industry, Chef Ismail also spoke about what students should learn.
“I will share the lifestyle of a celebrity chef with them as well as how to appreciate silver, porcelain or linen with a 1,000 thread count,” said Chef Ismail, adding that all these were important information for hospitality students.
The launch was held at Chef Ismail’s Restoran Rebung and guests were served by the hospitality and tourism students.
“I find kitchen work to be the most challenging but my favourite part is actually serving people,” said second year hotel management student Adeline Keong Wee San.
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