Posted on 21st May 2020
It comes as no surprise that computer and software skills influence hiring in every field, not just tech-nology-centered positions in today’s job market. To raise the digital competence standards amongst underprivileged students and better equip them for the workforce, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB) continues to empower youths from disadvantaged backgrounds at Montfort Boys Town in order to strengthen and certify their competence in the use of computers and digital tools, through the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) certification course.
The ICDL programme began in 2011 as part of an existing F&N IT Corner initiative to help the youths at Montfort Boys Town to develop essential computer skills as a stepping stone to meet their career aspirations. This year, 34 students from the vocational training institute successfully received their ICDL certification in Graphic Design Management and Computer Management after going through an intense six-module training programme, an improved and more in-depth scheme from the previ-ous training programme which consisted of only four modules.
During the graduation ceremony which was held in early March this year, Cariessa Goh, F&NHB Corporate Affairs Manager congratulated the students for their hard work and strong dedication to successfully completing the four-month long ICDL programme.
“In today’s technologically advanced economy and society, organisations are constantly innovating and maximising the use of technology in the workplace. As companies become ever more depend-ent on information technology, employers consider computer literacy as one of the most vital skills to possess in any field. Whether youths have the passion to pursue their career at an organisation or to kick-start their entrepreneurship journey, computer literacy is absolutely integrated into everyday life and many view them as virtually inseparable now.
“Completing the programme will enable these students to prove their abilities in a diverse set of computer skills such as photo editing, word processing, creating spreadsheets and IT security by an accredited and globally-recognised organisation. Being certified will knock down many barriers for them and open more doors for these young graduates when they begin their job search, allowing them to achieve their career ambitions.
“Over the course of nine years since the ICDL programme started, not only have I personally wit-nessed how this programme has positively impacted these students’ lives, but also of those around them. The graduates have proven that they will strive and work hard towards reaching their goals and overcoming any setbacks that come their way,” said Goh.
She also expressed the Group’s commitment towards bringing access to proper education and train-ing to underprivileged communities in Malaysia to prepare them for the workforce and enable them to change their own fate.
“We understand the importance of building and certifying certain vital skills that employers seek out for when they look for a candidate. We are always striving to provide the best for these students and that is why it almost feels surreal that this year marks a decade since F&N has collaborated with Montfort Boys Town. We are honoured to be a part of this life-changing journey and I am excited to see what is in store for them in the near future,” Goh added.
Meanwhile, Michael Lee, the ICT Program Head at Montfort Boys Town said that although it has been a while since the implementation of the ICDL programme, the enthusiasm the students has shown towards it has never dimmed. In fact, they were eager to learn more and even taught them-selves extra skills when left to their own devices.
“I remember specifically the day when their trial assessment test results were announced. The stu-dents were extremely excited to see their marks as they had worked hard for it. Even after they re-ceived their grade, they read the analysis that came with the report on how they did in each section and every day after that, each one of them was working diligently to improve on their weaknesses based on the analysis.
“I am truly thankful to F&N for giving this opportunity to these students. Without their contributions, none of the students would be able to undergo the training and receive the certification. Most of the students enrolled at our institution do not have computers at home as they cannot afford them, so they rely on the facilities provided by F&N to learn and improve their computer skills,” said Lee.
Since 2010, F&NHB has invested a total of RM185,000 in three F&N IT Corners at Montfort Boys Town in Shah Alam to equip the centres with the necessary computer equipment, printers, projec-tors, internet access, as well as funding to conduct the ICDL programme. To date, 374 children have excelled and graduated with the ICDL certification with Montfort Youth Centre in Melaka recording a total of 127 graduates. ICDL is the world’s leading computer skills certification with the course gain-ing participation from more than 16 million people in over 100 countries through 24,000 ICDL Ac-credited Test Centres (ATCs) worldwide.