KETEREH, KELANTAN – 10 MAY 2014: After a rousing session with empower ECER programme participants in his hometown of Sungei Koyan, Pahang last March, celebrity chef, Dato’ Redzuawan Ismail or popularly known as Chef Wan, today hosted another cooking programme for empower ECER participants in Ketereh, Kelantan known as “Program Masakan Warisan Bersama Chef Wan” .

Organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), the cooking demonstration had this towering Malaysian sharing his cooking techniques and tips in preparing traditional cuisine with 300 participants of empower ECER Ketereh Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme.

empower ECER is a flagship human capital development programme implemented by ECERDC in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER). Today’s event was officiated by YBhg. Puan Sri Datin Seri Panglima Hajah Rosniah binti Ab. Rahman, wife of YB Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Annuar bin Haji Musa, Member of Parliament for Ketereh.

ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said empower ECER participants mostly come from disadvantaged backgrounds and this cooking demonstration provides them with a golden opportunity to learn and be inspired by the world renowned celebrity chef.

“Chef Wan is a household name in Malaysia and many other parts of the world. Through this event, we aim to expose theempower ECER participants to positive role models such as Chef Wan, who originally hails from ECER himself,” said Dato’ Issace.

“As a towering Malaysian and an ‘ambassador’ in promoting Malaysian cuisine and culture to all over the world, we hope Chef Wan’s presence today would inspire our empower ECER participants to go through great heights, just like what Chef Wan did.”

Cooking is one of the courses conducted under empower ECER’s Skills and Enterpreneurship Training programme for single mothers, housewives and unemployed youths. Other courses offered include hairdressing, make-up, reflexology, pastry & desserts, mobile phone repair services, handicraft, frozen food preparation and floral design. Many participants who attended the cooking course have set up their own food catering business, either by operating from home, canteens or food courts. There are 400 Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme participants in Ketereh currently.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC in 2010 to help reduce economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It consists of the Skills and Entrepreneurship Programme for adults and Academic Training programme for examination-year students. The former focuses on vocational training for single mothers, jobless youths and disadvantaged individuals, while the Academic Program addresses the needs of academically disadvantaged students from low income homes.

To date, a total of 34,113 participants, comprising 11,175 adults and 22,938 students have benefitted from empower ECERthat is conducted in 17 locations, namely, Jeli, Bachok and Ketereh in Kelantan; Kemaman, Dungun, Hulu Terengganu and Besut in Terengganu; Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Maran, Rompin and Kuala Pahang in Pahang; and Mersing in Johor.

It is estimated that 80% of adult 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 income of between RM500 and RM1,500 per month, or even more. Meanwhile, UPSR, PMR and SPM students attending empower ECER’s remedial classes have recorded a 100% pass rate, with several scoring outstanding results.