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Dream comes true for Ascot graduates

17th January, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: With rampant unemployment around them, getting an offer to work with world-renowned hotels is a dream come true for two Ascot Academy graduates.

Muhammad Raihan Rajuddin, 19, and Barry Allen Asih, 20, said that they were overjoyed when Ascot Academy, where they trained, told them that prestigious hotels had approved their working applications a month before they officially graduated.

“They (Ascot Academy) shared the news with us last December. Just imagine, we had not even finished our course but these big hotels already welcome us to work with them…. I couldn’t ask for more when 1 World Hotel let me in their business.

“I do believe my friend Barry is more than grateful too when Genting accepted him. We will start work on February 1,” said Raihan when interviewed by reporters at Ascot’s graduation ceremony here, yesterday.

Raihan and Barry underwent Skills Proficiency Certificate in Food and Beverage Service through B40 Skills Training Program under the 11th Malaysia Plan. It was funded by Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK).

Raihan from Likas and the younger of two siblings said that he decided to work with a hotel in Peninsular Malaysia as he wanted to experience a different working environment.

“My family is not rich. So, since my secondary school days, I used to spend my school break working part-time at various hotels around the city. It was awesome and the experience prompted me to venture into hospitality.

“But, I won’t be working there for so long. Maybe three to five years and then come back home … start a food and beverage business … café, restaurant or food truck maybe.”

Ascot Academy awarded Raihan the Best Student Award during the graduation. He also won a gold medal in ‘Table Setting’ category during the 2017 Sabah Hospitality Fiesta, recently.

While Raihan is planning for his future, Barry said that Food and Beverage Service is not his first choice. “Culinary. Yes, culinary is my passion. But destiny brought me here today and I don’t regret it,” said the Papar native.

“Though I enrolled in a course that I didn’t really like, but it doesn’t matter. Here (Ascot Academy) I did theory studies for four months and two months doing practical.

“There were lots of competitions and I loved it.”

Barry won himself two medals, one gold for ‘Table Setting’ at the 2017 TVET Fiesta and bronze during the 2017 Sabah Hospitality Fiesta.

Meanwhile, Ascot Academy manager and programme chief, Steve Benedict said all its graduates were already employed and many before they even graduated.

“Today (yesterday) we witnessed 30 graduates and all of them have jobs.” Earlier, he said that Skills Proficiency Certificate in Food and Beverage Service through B40 Skills Training Program under the 11th Malaysia Plan is a six-month course which requires students to learn theory for four months and do their practical for two months at hotels around Kota Kinabalu.

“Students were aged between 18 to 24 years old and come from various districts across Sabah. Most of them are from B40 families (with lower than average income).”

“Overall, I hope that each one of them will work with integrity and make Sabah proud.”

The graduation ceremony was attended by parents, academy officers and members of the media. Also present was Ascot Academy Chief Executive Officer, Abdul Razak Egoh.

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