Professional Training

MORS contest sets a high bar

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

Dozens of front-line workers in the hospitality and tourism industries in Macao put their expertise to the test in the 2016 Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System (MORS) Gold Pin Competition. The judges say they were impressed by the high standards of service displayed by the contestants.

IFT organises the competition annually. The 2016 award ceremony took place in December.

Two staff of the Hotel Okura Macau claimed prizes. The Okura’s General Manager Mr. Niek Hammer says all entrants in the competition were winners by virtue of being courageous enough to put their skills to the test.

Mr. Hammer was one of the judges. He says the level of skills of the contestants was “extremely high” and that MORS is important to help develop talent in Macao.

The 2016 MORS Gold Pin Competition attracted 281 entrants working for 33 employers. The contestants competed for prizes for the best in 10 occupations, such as bartender, room attendant and front desk agent.

IFT and the Macao tourism industry launched MORS in 2001 with support from the European Union. The programme’s main objective is to improve the service quality and performance of workers in the hotel and tourism industries by certifying the skills of staff in front-line jobs. The MORS Gold Pin Competition began a year later.

The prize winners are decided in 3 rounds of competition. In the opening rounds, the contestants demonstrate their knowledge of the MORS training manuals in written examinations and practical tests of their skills. The best receive certificates of recognition and go on to the final round.

Panels made up of executives of tourism businesses judge the contestants and award a Gold Pin to the best in each occupation. Every 2016 winner also received a cash prize of MOP8,000 and was given a scholarship worth MOP2,000 for training courses at the IFT Tourism and Hotel School.

Challenge accepted

One of the winners, Ms. Wai Weng Ian, says competing in the MORS Gold Pin Competition was a challenge. “But I love challenges,” Ms. Wai says. She says the competition taught her “a lot”.

Ms. Wai works at the Broadway Hotel and competed in the contest for concierges and bell attendants. Some of the questions the contestants were asked surprised her because they were not the sort commonly asked by tourists. “I think this is useful because you cannot predict what tourists will need,” she says.

Ms. Wai has a Bachelor Degree in Tourism Business Management from IFT. She is involved in training front-line staff at the Broadway Hotel. She says the lessons she learned from competing in the MORS Gold Pin Competition would make her a better trainer.

Another winner, Ms. Wu Meiying, says: “I learned so many things”. Ms. Wu competed in the contest for waiters or waitresses in Western-style restaurants. “I was very happy to join the competition,” she says.

Ms. Wu, who is originally from Guangzhou, works in a restaurant at the Grand Lisboa hotel. She says MORS helped her learn more about the restaurant business. She would like to learn more, “step by step” she says, with a view to gaining promotion.

Attitude matters

Grand Lisboa General Manager Mr. Samuel Yeung says competing in the MORS Gold Pin Competition is more important than winning. Simply being a finalist puts a worker among “the best in the industry”, he says.

MORS is intended to improve service quality in Macao, says Mr. Yeung, who chairs the Macau Hotel Association. “We want to lift standards in the hotel industry,” he says. “It’s part of our responsibility to ensure we have recognised standards.”

He says the right attitude is essential for people working in hospitality. Many difficulties can be overcome with a positive attitude and willingness to help.

That sentiment is echoed by New World Development Co Ltd Assistant General Manager for Food and Beverage Mr. Maurice Kong. He is the chair of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Hotel and Tourism Management Alumni Association. Mr. Kong is a veteran judge of the MORS Gold Pin Competition and says a positive attitude is required not only to master the skills assessed in the competition, but also to be cordial with hotel guests.

Mr. Kong says he was happy to see contestants “really focused” on their performance in the competition. “It’s a very good stepping-stone to further development,” he says.

Another judge of the 2016 MORS Gold Pin Competition was MGM MACAU Executive Director of Housekeeping Ms. Christine Liu. Ms. Liu says she was impressed by the “excellent performances” she saw.

Ms. Liu was involved in setting up MORS. She says the MORS scheme is important because it offers employees training and development programmes, and enables hoteliers to measure the performance of their staff against the standards it sets.

The MORS Gold Pin Competition is an opportunity for people working in the hotel industry to learn from each other, she says. A contestant employed by one hotel can see how contestants working in other hotels perform the same task. In this way, employees can learn new techniques and acquire new skills.

Mr. Kurma Mac is the IFT Tourism and Hotel School Coordinator for MORS and Hospitality Courses. He says the main purpose of the competition is to encourage workers in hospitality to keep on learning throughout their lives.

He says the skills of the contestants improve every year making the competition more exciting. The contestants “are becoming more self-motivated by participating in this competition”, he says.

MORS-certifiable occupations
– Assistant Cook (Western Kitchen)
– Bartender
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Cuisine (Elementary)
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Cuisine (Intermediate)
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Dim Sum (Elementary)
– Chinese Cook – Cantonese Dim Sum (Intermediate)
– Concierge and Bell Attendant
– Customer Relations Officer
– Floral Designer
– Front Desk Agent
– Retail Sales Officer
– Room Attendant
– Security Officer for Tourism and Gaming Industry
– Travel Consultant
– Waiter/Waitress (Chinese Restaurant Service)
– Waiter/Waitress (Western Restaurant Service)
– Western Pastry and Bakery Chef

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