09 Apr 2017

Practical and skills-based coursesMDIS in the News

GROWTH in an industry can be hampered if its manpower needs are not managed carefully.

Tertiary institutions like the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) are already taking steps to help future-proof the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as their students’ jobs.

The MDIS School of Tourism and Hospitality launched its new Bakery & Culinary Studio last week.

“The facility is a part of our academic thrust to introduce more practical, skills-based programmes to nurture future-ready graduates,” says Mrs Carol Pillai, head of the school. The latest Tourism Sector Performance report, published by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), indicates that the tourism sector in Singapore continued to grow from January to September 2016.

International visitor arrivals increased 9 per cent over the same period in 2015, reaching 12.4 million visitors, while tourism receipts grew by 13 per cent to reach $18.5 billion.

With the food and beverage (F&B) sector contributing $14.4 billion to Singapore’s GDP and employing nearly 300,000 people, it has been estimated that 200 new jobs will be created every year in the hotel industry until 2020, she says.

Mrs Pillai feels that these statistics highlight the necessity of training locals to have the essential skills to meet the demand for employees in the F&B industry.

“MDIS aims to introduce and develop more skills-based disciplines and facilities to encourage entrepreneurship within the F&B sector,” she says.

The new programmes that will be rolled out include a “Creating a Culture of Customer Care” experience workshop.

Hands-on training

MDIS’ emphasis on entrepreneurship and skills upgrading has had a positive effect on Ms Foo Siew Juan, 24, who has benefited from its hands-on training approach.

Ms Foo is currently pursuing a BSc (Hons) International Tourism and Hospitality Management with the University of Sunderland through MDIS.

She learnt the art of making coffee as part of the practicum at Tropical Breeze, MDIS’s hospitality training centre.

The training was part of her Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management advanced diploma course in 2015.

“I felt privileged as not every school has the facilities for such training. We also learnt valuable hospitality-related skills such as table setting and front office operations,” she says.

Ms Foo delved deeper into her interest in coffee-making during her internship at a local café where she learnt advanced barista skills, such as creating 3D coffee art.

The hard work put into her practice reaped rewards when she was selected to represent MDIS in an international barista competition in China, and emerged the winner.

Ms Foo appreciates the continuedfocus on entrepreneurship and independent skills-based training offered by MDIS.

For instance, as part of a school project, she is headed to Taipei soon to analyse its tourism offerings through interaction with tourists and industry personnel.

“I feel I’m not only learning skills that will be useful from a hospitality perspective, but also gaining a taste for lifelong learning and making connections with others,” she says.


Source: The Sunday Times, 9 April 2017 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission. Click here to view PDF.