Hong Kong 2003
Go to
Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese
Home   Print this Page

Preparing People for Work

Careers Guidance

The Careers Advisory Service of the Labour Department, through the promotion of careers education, helps young people to choose a career best suited to their talents, interests and abilities and also supports careers teachers with back-up information. The public can also access careers information published by the service through its website.

Throughout the year, the service arranged student group visits to its Careers Information Centres and various commercial and industrial establishments. Its Education and Careers Expo 2003 attracted 184 359 visitors and a total of 159 037 students took part in its Careers Quiz 2003.

Skills Upgrading Scheme

The Finance Committee approved in June 2001 the allocation of $400 million for the provision of focused skills training for workers with secondary, or below, education. By December 31, 2003, the number of industry sectors brought under the Skills Upgrading Scheme had increased from six in 2001 to 17. These were: Printing, Chinese Catering, Retail, Import and Export Trade, Transportation, Wearing Apparel and Textile, Hotel, Tourism, Hairdressing, Property Management, Insurance, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Real Estate Agents, Building Maintenance and Decoration, Beauty Care, Passenger Transport, and Elderly Care. By year-end, 55 703 trainees from 3 088 classes had completed training.

Youth Pre-employment Training Programme

The Youth Pre-employment Training Programme was first launched in 1999 to enhance the employability of school leavers aged 15 to 19 through a wide range of employment-related training, workplace attachment, careers counselling and support services. The fourth programme was concluded in June, with about 10 300 trainees taking part.

The fifth programme, for 2003-04, is being delivered in two phases. The first phase, which commenced in September, attracted some 6 500 participants.

Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme

To enhance the employability of young people, the Government allocated $400 million to launch the Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme in July 2002. Administered by the Labour Department, it aims at providing on-the-job training of six to 12 months' duration for young people aged 15 to 24, with an education attainment below degree level.

The Labour Department canvasses training vacancies from various industries in the private sector as well as the public sector. In addition, special employment projects tailor-made for different trades and occupations are launched to provide diversified training opportunities for trainees under the scheme.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been commissioned to offer induction training and case management service to trainees. Case managers, who are registered social workers from NGOs, assist trainees to formulate career plans, identify suitable training vacancies, prepare for selection interviews, review their job search strategy, and adapt to the work environment after they are placed into employment.

The target of the scheme is to provide 10 000 training places by July 2004. This target was achieved in November, eight months ahead of schedule. By year-end, 10 971 trainees were successfully placed in training vacancies under the scheme. In addition, 7 632 trainees were placed in other jobs in the open employment market with the advice and assistance of their case managers.

Feedback from trainees, employers and NGOs on the scheme is highly favourable. Independent consultants from the Centre for Social Policy Studies of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have also confirmed the effectiveness of the scheme in enhancing the employability of young people in a mid-term review conducted in 2003.

Employees Retraining Scheme

The Employees Retraining Scheme (ERS) was launched in 1992 to provide retraining to eligible workers to assist them in taking on new or enhanced skills so that they can adjust to changes in the economic environment. It is administered by the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) which is a statutory body set up under the Employees Retraining Ordinance, comprising representatives from employers, employees, persons related to vocational training and retraining or manpower planning as well as the Government. In addition to regular income from a levy collected under the labour importation schemes, the Government provided a recurrent subvention of $378 million in 2003-04.

The ERS focuses on assisting displaced workers who have experienced difficulties in seeking alternative employment. The main target group of the scheme is displaced workers aged 30 or over with no more than lower secondary education. The scheme offers a wide variety of full-time and part-time courses delivered through a network of more than 50 approved training bodies. The courses broadly fall into seven categories: courses on job search skills, job-specific skills, general skills (computer and vocational languages), courses for the elderly, courses for people with disabilities, tailor-made courses and self-employment courses.

During the year, 60 600 full-time and 56 900 part-time retraining places were provided under the ERS. The two Retraining Resource Centres, in Yau Ma Tei and Lok Fu, continued to provide self-learning facilities, job market information and other supporting services to all graduate retrainees. The objective is to reinforce the effectiveness of the ERS and foster the concept of lifelong learning.

The 'Integrated Scheme for Local Domestic Helpers (LDHs)', an initiative launched in May 2002 to provide a one-stop service comprising job placement, referral and follow-up service for employers and graduate retrainees of domestic helper courses, has been running with success. To enhance the quality of training, the ERB set up in October 2002 a Practical Skills Training and Assessment Centre to administer a standard skills assessment for graduate retrainees of domestic helper courses. Retrainees who pass a practical skill assessment test will be issued a 'competency card' in recognition of the skills standard they have achieved. To further promote the service of LDHs and to address the mismatch in supply and demand in the LDH market, the 'Special Incentive Allowance Scheme for LDHs' was introduced in June as part of the SARS-related employment packages. (More details of the incentive scheme are given at the start of this chapter, in the paragraphs on action taken during the SARS outbreak).

Yearbook archives: 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997
back to top
back to top