Yesterday, in Kuala Lumpur, women and girls celebrated a significant achievement by successfully wrapping off the most recent session of the Kejar Kerja program. Together with Watsons, NIVEA, and WOMEN:girls, this apprenticeship program was designed to give young women in the creative industry organized career pathways. The initiative had a profound effect on everyone involved, not only did it result in more rewarding experiences for its participants, but it also cemented a deeper collaboration.
The Kejar Kerja programme, encompassing recruitment, orientation and apprenticeship phases, commenced with an intensive selection process, handpicking 10 exceptional candidates for a two month apprenticeship in the beauty industry. This programme uniquely paired participants with esteemed mentors from the makeup, fashion and beauty sectors, ensuring a mentorship rich in guidance and industry insights. Focused on equipping participants for the future, the programme offered tailored skills training, closely aligned with the evolving trends and needs of the contemporary beauty and creative industries. This immersive apprenticeship experience extended beyond theory, involving participants in the practical aspects of the industry, from daily operations to participation in a variety of business and lifestyle events.
The programme participants were mentored by a cadre of industry luminaries: Kim May Chee (founder of COCOdry), Adlina Nadirah (founder of Velvet Vanity Cosmetics), Nadia Halim (founder of Blip by Nadia Halim), Nelissa Hilman (founder and creative director of Nelissa Hilman), KF Bong (celebrity makeup artist), Melinda Looi (fashion designer), Warnabilla (makeup artist), Jastina (makeup artist and founder of J Beauty Shop), Sereen Eng (nail care expert and founder of POSH Malaysia) and Ummi Nasir (makeup artist and content creator), all of whom imparted valuable knowledge and skills, shaping the apprentices’ professional growth.
Izza Izelan, Executive Director of WOMEN:girls, reflected on the significant impact of the Kejar Kerja programme, “Rooted in our belief that every young woman is entitled to realise her aspirations and secure a prosperous future, WOMEN:girls initiated the Kejar Kerja programme in 2016 and over the years, this initiative has flourished together with our dedicated partners and mentors. We’ve witnessed numerous young women emerge from the apprenticeship programme further inspired and equipped with the skills and confidence to make substantial contributions towards themselves and their communities. The remarkable growth and resilience of our apprentices are a testament to the bright future they deserve. Our hope is for them to sustain and build upon this momentum even beyond the programme’s conclusion.”
Over the past decade, WOMEN:girls has impacted the lives of more than 20,000 individuals. This achievement underscores the significance of the support from partners like NIVEA and Watsons, who have been vital in empowering and enriching the lives of young women in Malaysia. The graduation event not only celebrates the accomplishments of the apprentices but also symbolises the collective efforts and dedication of everyone involved in making the Kejar Kerja programme a beacon of opportunity and empowerment.
“The collaboration with NIVEA and Watsons has been crucial in realising the vision of the Kejar Kerja programme. Echoing NIVEA’s dedication to individual empowerment and positive change, their support has played a pivotal role in cultivating a new generation of confident, skilled young women in the beauty and creative industries. Watsons Malaysia’s involvement, meanwhile, highlights their commitment to fostering future leaders in the health and beauty sector, aligning with their goal of generating positive social impact and promoting professional growth in Malaysia. This partnership has been integral to our shared mission of advancing social development,” said Izza.
Kejar Kerja stands out as a premier offering among WOMEN:girls’ array of flagship programmes, designed to connect communities with opportunities beyond their immediate reach. For those interested in exploring other initiatives or collaborating with WOMEN:girls, detailed information is available on their website at www.womengirls.org. Additionally, inquiries and interactions are welcomed through their social media platforms, including Instagram (@womengirls), Twitter (@WOMENgirls_), TikTok (@_womengirls) and Facebook (@WOMENgirlsInspire).