The Careers Advisory Service of the Labour Department, through the promotion
of careers education, helps young people choose a career best suited to their
talents, interests and abilities and also supports careers teachers with back-up
information. The public can also find careers information on the service website
Throughout the year, the service arranged student group visits to its Careers
Information Centre and various commercial and industrial establishments. Its
Education and Careers Expo 2006 attracted 198 997 visitors, while the Information
Expo for Secondary School Leavers which was co-organised with the Education and
Manpower Bureau attracted 15 000 visitors.
Skills Upgrading Scheme
In 2001, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved the
allocation of $400 million for the establishment of the Skills Upgrading Scheme (SUS)
to provide focused skills training for low skill and low education workers to adapt to
the changing economic landscape. By the end of 2006, more than 8 500 classes and
over 172 400 training places had been provided under the SUS. The market vending
industry was added to the scheme in 2006, bringing the number of industry sectors
under the SUS to 24.
Youth Pre-employment Training Programme
The Youth Pre-employment Training Programme was launched in 1999 to
enhance the employability of school leavers aged between 15 and 19 through
employment-related training, workplace attachment, careers counselling and support
services. The seventh programme was concluded in October 2006, with over
7 100 trainees taking part. The eighth programme, for 2006-07, is being carried out
in two phases. The first phase, which started in September, attracted over 4 000
Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme
The Labour Department launched the Youth Work Experience and Training
Scheme in July 2002 to provide six to 12 months of on-the-job training for people
aged 15 to 24, with an education attainment below degree level. It canvasses
training vacancies both from the private and public sectors. In addition, the scheme
offers special employment projects tailor-made for different trades and occupations
which provide a variety of training opportunities.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are commissioned to offer induction
training and case management services 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 employed.
By year-end, 31 465 trainees had filled training vacancies under the scheme. In
addition, 16 041 trainees got jobs on the open employment market with the help of
their case managers.
To provide 'through-train' service and to maximise the benefits for trainees in the
youth pre-employment and work experience schemes, a revolving-door mechanism
has been introduced to allow the trainees to move between the two programmes at
different stages of the programme year.
Employees Retraining Scheme
The ERB was set up under the Employees Retraining Ordinance in 1992 to help
eligible workers adjust to changes in the economic environment. It is a statutory body
comprising employer representatives, employee representatives and people in
vocational training, retraining and manpower planning as well as government
officials. In addition to regular income from a levy collected under the labour
importation schemes, the ERB received a recurrent subvention from the Government.
In 2006-07, the subvention amounted to some $360 million.
The ERB focuses on assisting unemployed workers, primarily those aged 30 or
above with no more than lower secondary education, who have been displaced as a
result of economic restructuring. It offers a wide variety of full-time and part-time
courses delivered through a network of more than 50 approved training bodies. The
major course categories cover job search skills courses, job-specific skills courses and
general skills courses (computer and vocational languages). New courses such as
healthcare massage courses are being developed, with a view to enhancing the
employment opportunities of retrainees and their sustainability in the jobs.
In order to strengthen the Employees Retraining Scheme and to foster the spirit
of lifelong learning, the ERB administers two Retraining Resource Centres, one in
Cheung Sha Wan and the other at Lok Fu, to provide a wide range of self-learning
facilities, job market information and other supporting services to graduate
The Integrated Scheme for Local Domestic Helpers, an initiative formally
launched in May 2002, provides a one-stop service for job matching, job referral and
follow-up services for employers and graduate retrainees of domestic helper courses.
A Special Incentive Allowance Scheme for Local Domestic Helpers was introduced by
the Labour Department in June 2003 to promote the services of local domestic
helpers and to address the mismatch in supply and demand. Under the scheme, an
allowance would be provided to qualified retrainees of domestic helper courses who
are prepared to work across districts or during unsocial hours. It was decided in 2006
to extend the scheme to March 2008.
In October 2002, the ERB set up a Practical Skills Training and Assessment Centre
which carried out standardised skill assessments for retrainees of domestic helper
courses. Now, the standardised assessments have been extended to cover personal
care worker courses, massage for healthcare courses, hotel room attendant courses,
hotel public area cleaner courses as well as home care worker for the elderly courses.