Thursday, March 27, 2008


UMS students to work part-time in Resort
Shangri – La’s Tanjung Aru Resort to provide in-house training to Hotel Management Programme students


Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has sealed a smart partnership with Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa (STAR) to provide in-house training for its Hotel Management Programme students. UMS yesterday signed an MoU with STAR to allow the students taking the programme to experience real life exposure of the hotel industry through in-house training at the Resort’s facilities during their final year. Under the agreement, STAR will provide training in three critical areas, namely banquet service, restaurant and housekeeping. Upon completion of the training sessions, students would be employed on a part-time basis to serve at banquet functions. “It is vital for the final-year students to be exposed to and gain real-life training as well as practical training experience during their final academic year in addition to their practical training attachment. “The training is regarded as beneficial for our students and serves as a way to overcome the shortage of skilled human resources inthe hotel industry,” said UMS Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin at the signing ceremony at STAR yesterday. He said the signing of the MoU is timely and pertinent to the tourism industry in Sabah, particularly the hotel sector which is enjoying a continuous growth of demand from tourists but faced with difficulties of finding sufficient trained and skilled workers. “This MoU is regarded as the first strategic smart partnership between the hotel industry player and higher learning institution. It is also the first in Sabah and at the national level. Indeed, we hope to have more such MoU with other industry players for the mutual benefit of our students and the hotel industry,” said Mohd Noh. Apart from the training programme for UMS, STAR is also carrying out research developing sustainable resource framework for tourism and hospitality from the practitioner and academic perspectives. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun in witnessing the signing of the MoU, said such collaborative move between the higher learning institution and the hotel industry players is a great way towards improving human capital to support the rapidly growing tourism industry. “Hopefully, with more training being provided for our workers such as through this collaboration between UMS and STAR, the quality of the State’s human capital would be further improved,” he said. He said workers from Sabah are highly sought after by hotel operators in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia due to their high professionalism and dedication. Speaking to reporters after the signing ceremony, Masidi said most of the hotels in Sabah, including the major-ones, are offering comparably good salary packages to their employees but there are still rooms for improvement. Answering a question, Masidi defended the hoteliers against allegation that they are more keen on hiring foreign staff compared to local and practises double standard in giving out managerial position, saying over 95 percent of the staff in all major hotels are local people. On another note, he said Sabah last year Sabah received more than 2.34 million tourists, contributed to more than 14 percent of the State’s Gross Domestic Product for 2007.