local cooks and barbers on the way

August 16th, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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This is one of the good things organised so far. By relying less on foreigners, we are reducing social problems and also providing job opportunity to locals. As it is, restaurants are employing lots of foreign workers –  managers, cashiers, waiters, cooks, cleaners etc. In a way, it also helps to preserve our culinary heritage. I’m thinking that in 10-20 years, Indian delicacies will end up being “owned” by other races. Nowadays,  thosai, muruku, achi-muruku, athirasam etc, are being hijacked slowly.

Secondly, there’s an issue of wage. Locals will demand and expect better wages and perks, simply because their living expenses are higher than foreign workers. Employers will cite cases where locals are not able to perform as well as foreign workers, while workers will point to the wages and working conditions. While this conundrum exists, it won’t be easy to improve the restaurant industry.

Anyway, its a bit far-fetched to say that “Once they graduate, they will be able to open their own restaurants”.  Opening a restaurant is not like opening a a bank account. Need lots of cash, proper survey, planning etc.

As for barbers, this is a good field indeed. I know that some locals are venturing into this business, but there’s something to consider – which market you want to capture. There’s the “working man” market – no frills service for fees between RM5 – Rm10. Second is the “affordable” market – where more frills and services are provided.

I know that courses involving food and hair styling are offered under MLVK, Kolej Komuniti, and in private colleges as well. Perhaps more accessibility should be provided for these graduates to learn a variety of skills.

KUALA LUMPUR: In future, Indian restaurants will mostly have Malaysian cooks, and not cooks from India, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said.

He said there had been encouraging response from locals to be trained as cooks under a ministry programme.

“We hope to reduce the number of cooks from India in stages, especially in Indian restaurants, once the first batch of locally-trained chefs graduate,” he told reporters after visiting the CQ Tec College here yesterday.

The college received its first batch of 25 trainees for an intensive, six-month programme in June.

Dr Subramaniam said the fees for the trainees were borne by the ministry through the Human Resources Development Fund, adding that they would also receive monthly allowances.

“Once they graduate, they will be able to open their own restaurants,” he said, adding that the future was promising for Indian youths.

He said the idea was mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who wanted the ministry to train local chefs and not depend on cooks from India.

Another training programme undertaken by the ministry was hair-styling, to replace barbers from India.

“We want the two sectors (restaurants and hair salons/barber shops) to rely less on foreign workers and employ locally-trained people,” he said


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