CAMERON HIGHLANDS, 8 October : Some 150 aspiring makeup artists who are also the participants of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) empower Cameron Highlands initiative took part in a special training programme recently which aims to equip them with the latest artistic makeup techniques in the industry.

Organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), “Artistic Makeup Mania” was held in response to the great demand from the Chinese community in Cameron Highlands who want to be involved in the highly lucrative makeup business which is also easily operated from home.

The one-day programme was officially launched by the State Legislative Assembly Member for Tanah Rata, YB Dato’ Ho Yip Kap, at SRK (C) Cameron Highlands, Ringlet on 7 October.

“We hope this programme would help enhance the skills of empower Cameron Highlands participants and boost their marketability as they work their way into becoming successful makeup artists,” said ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John.

This is in line with the objectives of empower, which is aimed at boosting employability and increasing household income for adults in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) and balancing economic disparities between the urban and rural areas, he said.

Through the training provided under empower Skills & Entrepreneurship Training programme, ECERDC hopes to increase the additional income of participants by between RM800 and RM1,500 per month. The KPI for this programme is 80 per cent success rate in job placement, either in starting their own business or working with an employer.

There are currently 500 participants of empower Cameron Highlands Skills & Entrepreneurship Training programme who commenced their training since April this year. They are now taking part in courses such as receptionist and public relations, wiring and plumbing, sewing and fashion designing, Asian Cuisine, cake baking and pastry, hairdressing, bridal make-up, physiotherapy and traditional massage, as well as handicraft-making.

As of August 2012, 32 participants have already started their own businesses and earning additional income of up to RM1,500 a month while still undergoing training.

The ’empower’ programme is part of ECERDC’s social development initiative in ECER which runs parallel with Malaysia’s New Economic Model which aspires to create a high-income society among all Malaysians. Consisting of Academic Skills Training and Skills & Entrepreneurship Training, “empower” has already benefitted 10,300 participants since 2010 to-date, comprising 6,000 students and 4,300 adults.

empower is currently being implemented in eight districts within ECER, namely Bentong, Temerloh, Lipis, Raub and Cameron Highlands in Pahang; Jeli and Bachok in Kelantan; and Kemaman in Terengganu.