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Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s successful "Quest"

Winners of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s inaugural TAP Talent Quest
Forty Food & Beverage (F&B) students from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Five Best Skill Training Centre and the Sunway, Gombak and Kuala Lumpur campuses of CQ-TEC gained valuable hands-on experience; and for some, a medal or two, when they participated in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) inaugural TAP Talent Quest 2014.

The month-long project saw each of the institutions nominating three students for the programme which entailed three training sessions in the lead-up to the final event where participants competed for gold, silver and bronze medals in five categories namely, Themed Table Settings, Barista, Flambe, Mocktails and Cocktails.

According to Alan Pryor, the Centre’s General Manager, TAP or Talent Acceleration Programme is an 18-month internal programme launched in November last year (2013) with an initial intake of 25 driven team members to “accelerate the development of our managerial talent pool and to better prepare them for future undertakings.

“TAP Talent Quest was conceptualised by TAP team members as a corporate social responsibility project with the aim of providing hands-on experience to some of the many young F&B talents currently pursuing their studies at local hospitality schools.

“And given the hospitality and tourism industry’s dependence on quality manpower, talent development and management have been an important component of the Centre’s overall operations since day one. We are therefore very pleased to add another programme that helps develop local talent.”

Elaborating on the TAP Talent Quest, Deputy General Manager Simon Lomas said the training sessions involved colleagues from the Centre’s award-winning culinary team impart their knowledge and skills in the five categories while the finals saw participants putting what they’d learnt to practise.

“The reception to the inaugural event was very positive. We will look to take this biennial, expand the number of categories and maybe, include a waiters’ race to find the steadiest hand which can carry a tray with four glasses and run 200 metres without incident! We will also consider increasing the number of participants by reaching out to more universities and colleges.”

Echoing Simon’s sentiments, Dearna Kee June Chen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, Arts & Humanities, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College thanked the Centre for organising such an event. “A programme of this nature cannot be underestimated in the overall growth and development of hospitality students at this stage of their education. I would also like to congratulate our students for bringing home the TAP Talent Quest 2014 trophy and look forward to the next edition.”

Besides TAP Talent Quest, the Centre collaborates with institutions of higher learning on programmes aimed at familiarising students with the industry and the different career opportunities available to them. These include the Student Employment Programme (STEP) which involves participants attending multiple workshops and receiving on-the-job training and exposure to various departments within the Centre and the six months Experiential Learning Programme (ELP) whereby participating Diploma students spend four days working at the Centre and one day in the classroom at their respective college.

The runaway winner of the TAP Talent Quest 2014 was Tunku Abdul Rahman University College with three golds, three silvers and a bronze and CQ-Tec Sunway, the runners-up with a gold, silver and bronze each.

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