KUALA LUMPUR - What was seen by some as a "girly" profession turned out to be a rewarding career for hairstylist Kenz Ho Wing Chong, who runs a chain of beauty salons.
"When I stepped into the industry, many asked why I chose a woman's job," said Ho, 48.
He found it hard to explain his passion for hairstyling to his parents and peers, admitting that it was not an easy path.
Ho said it was hard work and patience that helped him remain in the business for the past 30 years.
"Hairstyling is a service. To do well, you need to hone your skills and earn your clients' trust. That is how you expand your customer base," he said.
Ho is also a committee member of the Malaysia Hairdressing Associa-tion, organises beauty exhibitions and is hair consultant for a talkshow.
He is an advocate of technical vocational education and training (TVET) and will be a judge at the coming VRPro contest.
Organised by MCA Youth, the VRPro competition is open to those in skills-based professions, including hairstyling and manicure designing, he said at Wisma MCA on Thursday.
"At the start of every civilisation, skills-based jobs were the main source of income for families," said Lau Chin Kok, MCA Youth National Vocational Training chairman.
"But our society today is more focused on a person's qualifications rather than his or her skills."
He said technical professionals in Malaysia only made up 28 per cent of the country's workforce - from the 50 per cent target to be achieved by 2020.
To encourage more young people to take up a skills-based profession, the youth wing organised VRPro, which will be accompanied by a TVET fair at the Viva Home Expo Hall here on May 9 and 10.
With more than 100 booths, the fair will feature schools from Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Canada and China offering TVET courses.
"Having more skilled professionals will help boost our country's economy and competitiveness," Lau said.