MERSING, 5 AUGUST 2013: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) today organised a Mesra Kasih programme, where participants of its empower ECER Mersing were taught the art of cake decorating. Fifty participants took part in the programme, aimed at inculcating entrepreneurial interest amongst participants.

The guest-of-honour for this event was Tengaroh state assemblyman, YB Raven Kumar. The event was held at Dewan Serbaguna Kampung Baru Jemaluang, Mersing.

“Apart from promoting good relationship between ECERDC and the local community, this outreach programme is also aimed at encouraging empower ECER participants to venture into business using the skills they acquire through our Skills and Entrepreneurship Training,” said ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC to reduce economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It focuses on Skills and Entrepreneurship Training for adults and Academic Training for examination-year students in ECER.

The Skills and Entrepreneurship Training offers courses that reflect the needs of the job market as well as that of the community. Training programmes run for a period of 10 months and they include courses such as baking, sewing & handicraft making, bridal make-up and dressing, Masakan 1Malaysia, wiring & plumbing, reception services & public relations, reflexology & traditional massage, and hairdressing. Single mothers and youths were among those who successfully completed the Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme in 2012.

The Academic Training targets academically weak students from disadvantaged backgrounds, enhancing their skill sets and improving their academic results so that they are not left out of the Region’s socio-economic transformation.

For 2013, empower ECER will benefit 400 Academic Training participants and 400 Skills and Entrepreneurship participants in Johor.

To date, a total of 22,262 participants, comprising 13,537 students and 8,725 adults had benefitted from empower ECER. Students to date have recorded a 100% passes rate, with several scoring distinctions. For adults, it is estimated that up to 80% of participants will gain employment after completing their courses or have sufficient knowledge and practical experience to start their own business, and the ability to generate an additional income of between RM500 and RM1,500 per month, or even more.