Continuing Education Main Headline

MORS scheme helps jewellery trade staff enhance retail skills

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

The Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System (MORS) – promoted by IFT – is widely regarded by firms in the tourism and hospitality sector as a way to improve the performance of workers that deal directly with customers. Local jewellery chain Fu Yun is one of the Macao firms making extensive use of the programme in order to upgrade staff skills in retailing roles and to enhance quality of customer service.

The firm regularly sends staff to join MORS courses related to retail sales, including programmes tailored for Fu Yun.

“After taking the course, our colleagues put more emphasis on detail and provide customers a better service, which leads to more sales,” says Mr. Tim Ho, a manager at Fu Yun and himself a MORS graduate.

The head of the Fu Yun jewellery chain, Mr. Lou Ip Fai, says the firm has been sending staff to MORS courses for several years. He reports that staff attending these courses show on their return improvements in selling and marketing skills, and are also more attentive to client needs.

“For example, when customers come to us for a platinum necklace, my staff will also encourage them to look at other products, and successfully make a sale at the end,” Mr. Lou says. “This might not have happened in the past, because staff could be a bit aggressive. But now they first seek to communicate with the customers.”

Fu Yun salesperson Ms. Kam Wai Man is a MORS course graduate. She says attending the programme helped improve her service skills.

“There are some issues that I had previously neglected during my interactions with customers,” she says. “For example, I now pay more attention to the type of jewellery the customer is wearing so as to offer them products that suit their style.”

Ms. Kam states that role-playing exercises during the MORS classes helped her to reflect on her performance when serving customers. “I would try to find my shortcomings during the classes and strive to improve,” she says. Ms. Kam expresses an interest in joining advanced-level MORS courses.

Growing demand

The MORS scheme is an important long-term endeavour by the IFT Tourism and Hotel School. The system is the result of a joint effort by the Macao tourism industry and IFT to establish 
a scheme for training people to undertake certain front-line jobs and for certifying workers as being sufficiently qualified.

The system was introduced in 2001, with the support of the European Union. The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has given the scheme the PATA Gold Award in Education and Training.

IFT Instructor Ms. Queenie Tang coordinates the training courses provided by the Tourism and Hotel School in the fields of retail, events and business, including those offered under the MORS scheme. She says there has been in recent years an increase in demand from Macao firms for MORS retail training courses.

“There are 2 segments in the MORS retail programme. One relates to courses open to everyone, and that target staff from small- and medium-sized enterprises, and individuals interested in the retail industry,” she says.

“The other segment includes courses provided for a specific corporation or organisation. Once it can gather enough participants, IFT will open a class only for that entity,” Ms. Tang explains. In those cases, the course content can be tailored to the needs of the participants, which often already have retail-related experience.

Each intake studies for approximately a month, with a strong focus on practical skills. Participants usually have classes twice a week, each class being 3 hours long.

There is a final examination that participants need to complete successfully in order to receive the appropriate MORS certification: it includes a written test and a practical assessment.

“For the practical assessment of the MORS retail courses, we evaluate participants by their selling skills and by their knowledge of the products. We also evaluate participants’ handling of inquiries and complaints, and of requests to return and exchange goods,” Ms. Tang says.

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