Youths from different walks of life step into Montfort Boys Town - some from poor, single parenthood families, orphanages while others are academically challenged. No matter what their backgrounds may be, the education institution offers them quality vocational training and for many of them, renewed hope a much needed second chance.
Lending a hand towards this worthy cause, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB) established the F&N IT Corner programme in 2010 to help youths of Montfort Boys Town gain an edge in life through the development of essential computer skills.
Since 2011, the F&N IT Corner has also given students the opportunity to undergo a six to eight-month International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) certification course. Offered to final-year students, the course offers participants the knowledge and competencies necessary to use a computer and common computer applications. This includes managing files, word processing, developing spreadsheets, database and presentations, as well as information and communication functions.
The internationally-recognised computer literacy certification is supported by governments, international organisations and corporations globally, thus giving students an upper hand when seeking employment. To date, over 300 students have benefitted from the ICDL programme.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony recently, Ms Cariessa Goh, F&NHB Corporate Affairs Manager congratulated 47 students for successfully completing the ICDL programme.
“We are privileged to work alongside Montfort Boys Town and support their cause to empower youths with the confidence to lead successful and positive lives. We believe that these students can go far if they are given the right opportunities in life. Through the ICDL programme, we hope to equip them with essential ICT skills and boost their opportunities to gain good employment in the future,” she said.
Life seemed down for 19-year-old Kok Chee Yang after receiving poor results in his SPM examinations. But that did not deter him from pursuing further education. He has excelled at Montfort and hopes to live out his dreams as an animator in the future.
“The ICDL programme was quite a challenge for me as we had to learn an extensive list of functions while I only had a basic understanding of computer applications. I’m proud to have completed the programme as these skills will come to good use when I enter the workforce,” said Kok, who is currently pursuing a course in Graphic Design and Multimedia.
Langkawi-born Krisha Nala has big dreams for herself. Krisha’s father, an estate supervisor is the sole breadwinner of the family. Upon graduating, Krisha, the eldest of three siblings, hopes to support the family by finding a good job abroad.
“I want to be a software engineer someday. Hence, the ICDL programme was a right fit for me. I certainly enjoyed the programme as it was very interesting. Just like my peers, my dream is to make my family proud. I want to exceed expectations and be the first in my family to find good employment oversees,” said the 20-year-old who is also a head prefect at Montfort.
At the ceremony, volunteers from the Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM) were also present to talk to students about the wide-ranging career opportunities within the contact centre industry.
“Contact or call centre jobs are often misconceived as low-paying and those that do not offer much future. This is not the case. In fact, there are great opportunities to grow your career in this field. Our offices also offer a great environment to learn and grow, with the latest technology and on-going training. With hard work and dedication, our agents earn lucrative salaries, comparable to those in other professional fields,” said Ms Yvonne Ng Lay Kim, Deputy President of CCAM.
“We are constantly looking at possibilities to expand the ICDL programme and this year, we were excited to have with us representatives from CCAM. They briefed the students on an endless list of career opportunities in the contact centre industry which they could apply with their ICDL qualifications. Moving forward, we hope to bring in more professional experts to provide guidance especially in terms of seeking good employment,” said Ms Cariessa.
F&NHB has invested over RM260,000 to date in three F&N IT Corners at Montfort Town to equip the centres with the necessary computer equipment, printers, projectors, internet access, as well as funding to conduct the ICDL programme.