QSR Brands (M) Holdings Bhd (QSR Brands), the region’s largest quick service restaurant operator, with favourite brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Ayamas, has signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs), one with Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and another with SEGi University to provide work-based learning opportunities to university students following the completion of their studies.

The Ministry of Higher Education’s 2u2i work-based learning program forms the basis of the partnership between QSR Brands and both institutions, whereby students will be placed at restaurants owned by QSR Brands to gain working experience to complement their studies in preparation for entering the industry.

Under the MOUs, the Restaurant Management course will be introduced for the first time at both universities. Students completing the 3-year Hotel Management Degree at UMK and students completing the 2-year Diploma in Culinary Arts or Restaurant Management at SEGi will undergo an industrial training with QSR Brands for one year, or 3u1i and 2u1i, respectively.

At the MOUs signing ceremony, President & Chief Executive of JCorp and Chairman of QSR Brands, Dato’ Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim said that he foresees QSR Brands’ initiative as a long term collaboration between UMK and SEGi to realise and uphold the Ministry’s initiatives in offering exposures in industrial practices to undergraduates. “QSR Brands is committed to providing an environment of continuous learning for our employees at all our KFC, Pizza Hut or Ayamas outlets in Malaysia. Our employees are given training incorporating class-based, hands-on and e-learning. The students under this 3u1i and 2u1i program who have completed hospitality courses at UMK and SEGi, respectively, will go through the same training that we provide our employees.” “We welcome any feedback from the Ministry and the universities and we are prepared to collaborate with you to provide solid working exposure and experience to ensure the learning approach put forth by universities are consistent with the needs of the industry,” he added.

The students under this program will be put through the paces at one of the 667 KFC restaurants nationwide using the globally renowned standard Yum! Developing Champion Modules which is a global YUM! Brands curriculum for its restaurants. The students will receive a monthly allowance of RM1,000 by QSR Brands. After completion, QSR Brands is prepared to offer employment to students who have demonstrated their ability and desire to join the company subject to certain conditions and requirements. Introduced in 2016, seven public universities currently participate in the 2u2i with 16 courses offered in the 2017/2018 academic session.

The support of leading companies in Malaysia are vital to the success of the program to develop a higher learning eco-system that is dynamic and flexible in line with making the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) to produce holistic, entrepreneurial, and balanced graduates a reality. UMK was one of the first public universities which implemented the 2u2i program when it was introduced by the MOHE.

Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman, UMK Chairman of Board said the understanding formed is in line with some of the national transformation agenda specifically to realise the objective of TN50 in creating human capitals that are talented and competitive. “These courses which are based on 2u2i programme, is a study method introduced by MOHE to stress on work-based learning where it can be seen to add values to students which in turn increase the percentage of graduate employability among UMK students”. Tan Sri Hamad Kama said the partnership between QSR and UMK was formed through an initiative raised at the Age of Entrepreneurship meeting, a platform to connect the industry and the academia. UMK is confident the strategic partnership formed with QSR in the industry would create leaders who are highly competitive.