Why do youths love ASSET-H&C member schools?
January 13, 2023

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The 12 member schools of ASSET-H&C offer tourism, hospitality, and catering training for youths across Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam as socially sustainable projects. Most provide free education, accommodation, food, and healthcare for youths from low socio-economic backgrounds so that they will have a profession, a career, and a means to become the agents of their own lives and break the poverty cycle for their families and communities.

 

Recently, we interviewed some alumni and students of our member schools to find out what impacts the schools left on their lives since joining the training. It might be eye-opening for many members of the public who may have thought that “Free doesn’t go with Quality”, and we are proud to share what the students have acquired through these well-rounded free training projects. 

 

Collaboration

 

Most of the ASSET-H&C members’ alumni have quality jobs at cruises, airlines, travel agencies, hotels, resorts, bakeries, spas, shops, as well as owning their businesses. This is made possible by the students’ professionalism and the schools’ good name and relationship with players in the industry. 

 

“During my internship at our partner hotel – Park Hyatt Siem Reap, I quickly adapted to the working environment and performed myduties effectively. As a result, the manager decided to hire me as a full-time staff right after my graduation”, shared Ms. Seavyong Loem, a former student of intake 2017-2018 from SPOONS Cambodia.

 

As a Bar Supervisor at KVL Hotel, Phnom Penh, Mr. Prom Vanna, a 2018 graduate from our member PSE Institute in Cambodia, advised:

 

“PSE has turned my life around by changing my mindset, values, attitudes, behaviours, and providing me with a chance to integrate smoothly into the hospitality industry. I am therefore motivated to give back by sharing practical experiences and knowledge with younger generations of PSE students.” 

 

His job integration has been smooth thanks to the PSE apprenticeship scheme that allows students to workin partnered companies two weeks per month throughout the year. This helps train the apprentices on subjects that are more difficult to teach in a school environment, before they go for full-time internship and graduate from the program.

 

An important aspect of professional development in this increasingly dynamic world is collaboration and exchanging skills with peers. ASSET-H&C facilitates this exchange between its member schools, and it is a sentiment that has been passed down to our members, trainers and the students.

 

Ms Hang, a former student of KOTO in Vietnam shared that:

 

“Anywhere I go, I always keep the meaning of KOTO “Know One Teach One,“ in my heart and share the knowledge with my colleagues, and friends so that we all can become better.”

 

Soft skills

 

Part of the mission of ASSET-H&C and our Member Schools is to support young students that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. In response to this mission, the schools take a holistic approach to learning. They teach the foundational skills of their fields, as well as instilling soft skills. This ensures that when the students graduate, they are amongst the most employable in the industry. In fact, many of them graduate already with a job. 

 

Chetra Yorn, a graduate of the Bayon Pastry School in Cambodia said:

 

“Thanks to the skills acquired from Bayon, I myself and many other graduates are having good jobs and improving our lives. I transformed from a shy and reserved girl to a strong and independent one.” Chetra is now working for Paris Baguette in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

 

Sreyngop May is 24 years old and has been working in Cold Kitchen in Song Saa Private Island since October 2021. The alumnus from Sala Bai said:

 

“The school taught me not only cooking skills but also a lot of soft skills. I’ve learnt English and how to use a computer. I know how to set my goals and become more optimistic, brave, self-confident, a good communicator & a team worker. Thanks to the skills gained from Sala Baï, I now have the ability to support my family with my salary and improve their living conditions”

 

Skilled and passionate teachers

 

When asked what impressed her the most about the school, Ms. Pornla Chanananthakun from HCTC in Thailand shared,:

“Our trainers teach us step by step, patiently and systematically. Thanks to this, I was able to improve and become more professional day by day.”

 

 

“I am very impressed by my teachers. They all have admirable working experience, yet, they are so friendly, funny and enthusiastic in sharing all those experiences. By observing and practising my skills with them, I learnt to work more efficiently and more professionally”, shared Ms. Nguyen Thi Khanh Hoa, an alumnus of Hoa Sua in Vietnam.

 

Many of the students noted the wealth of knowledge and experience that their instructors held, but importantly, many of them also cited how supportive they were. At the end of the day, teachers are one of the most impactful elements in the learning curves of students, especially with students coming from vulnerable backgrounds as they require more energy, empathy and sensitivity. 

 

Conclusion:

 

While the schools are varied and the students even more so, as you can see, there are many things that bring us together and make our member schools among the best in Southeast Asia. ASSET-H&C as a network commits to creating a greater impact on the students by sharing resources and experience, improving staff capability, e.g pedagogical skills for the instructors, and strengthening our members’ innovative approach through better visibility and partnership. The graduates’ successful job integration is a proud reward for all. 

 

Written by Rachel Beilby, student at RMIT Australia, intern at ASSET-H&C in January 2023

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