Students equipped with skills

  • Education
  • Sunday, 10 Jul 2016

Necessary skills: (from left) Taylor’s University School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts dean Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan, Prof Pradeep, Jones and MACEOS chair for education and training Kenneth Fong at the launch of the programme.

AS part of its ongoing effort to equip students with real-world experience and future ready skills, Taylor’s University recently launched the Empowering Leaders into Industry for Tourism & Events (ELITE) programme at its Lakeside Campus.

Aimed at equipping future professionals for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) industry with the necessary skills to succeed in the industry, the ELITE programme was launched together with the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS).

Taylor’s University deputy vice-chancellor Prof Dr Pradeep Nair said: “Our teaching philosophy is centred on equipping students with future- ready advantage.”

“As educators, we aspire to prepare our students for the future by equipping them with skills that help them to thrive in all circumstances. In 2010, we started this programme called Student Employment Programme (STEP) and Future General Manager Programme (GeM), a year later,” he said.

These two programmes, he added, were established to ensure that the next generation of hoteliers are able to step into their roles, with confidence and a clear understanding of the position they will step into upon entry into the workforce.

These graduates, he said, can command a salary of between RM3,000 to RM3,500 immediately upon their entry into the workforce, compared to their peers who earn between RM1,800 to RM2,500.

“Drawing on the huge success of these programmes, the university feels that there is a need to prepare students for the Tourism and Event sectors, specifically in the MICE industry,” he said.

Prof Pradeep said that event management is a multi-billion dollar business and a rapidly growing industry, with conferences, meetings, trade shows and social events hosted regularly around the world.

The ELITE programme is targeted at students undergoing the Bachelor of International Tourism Management – Events Management and the Bachelor of International Tourism Management – Travel & Recreation Management under Taylor’s University School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts.

The MoU with MACEOS marks the first partnership under the ELITE Programme. It will see participation by nine companies registered under MACEOS namely AOS Conventions & Events Sdn Bhd, C.I.S. Network Sdn Bhd, ECMI ITE ASIA Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Exhibition Services Sdn Bhd, Messe Worldwide Sdn Bhd, Pacific World Destination East Sdn Bhd, Pico International (M) Sdn Bhd, Setia City Convention Centre, and Trade Link ITE Sdn Bhd/ ITE Malaysia).

Prof Pradeep said that the ELITE programme and the partnership with MACEOS and the nine participating companies created an ideal journey from university to future careers for event management students.

The training and internships are courting periods between the students and the companies to get to know each other in the hope that there would be a successful working relationships.

MACEOS vice president Alun Jones said there is much talent in Malaysia for the growth and development of the event industry, but there must be an outlet for the event management companies to discover the right talent, and to expose to students the opportunities they could garner and to spark their interests in the industry. The ELITE programme partnership provides the perfect platform for these to take place.

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