Publicity and Promotion
3.5 To increase public awareness and preference toward VET programmes, VTC launches advertising and promotion campaigns annually in various media including TV, newspapers, outdoor platforms, popular websites and social media. In 2015, a new advertising campaign featuring outstanding VTC alumni has been launched to highlight the positive impact and value of VET.
Use of Digital Media
3.6 Leveraging on the popularity of digital media, a multifaced approach is adopted to promote VET. Different introductory videos on VTC’s member institutions and programmes have been produced and uploaded to the dedicated VTC’s Channel on YouTube. Successful stories of VTC graduates, endorsements from industries and information for parents are also shared in this channel. About 1.5 million video views were recorded at the end of 2014. In addition, a Facebook fan page has been created to engage and connect with the young people. Updated news on VET is disseminated and online campaigns are organised to arouse the interest of young people in VET. To enhance interactivity with different stakeholders, a virtual ambassador, “V Wa”, has been created to answer online enquiries and as at January 2015, over 35 000 fans have signed up the VTC fan page.
3.7 An interactive corner was developed in the dedicated parent zone in the VTC website to provide first-hand information to parents. Emails on the latest VET information were disseminated to secondary school students, parents, teachers and career masters. A VTC mobile application tailor-made for secondary school students has also been produced, which includes practical features such as programme information, key dates of admission, event calendar as well as Question & Answer function. Over 20 000 accumulative downloads were recorded as at January 2015.
3.8 The WorldSkills Hong Kong Competition 2014 10 and the 8th Guangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao/Chengdu (“GHMC”) Youth Skills Competition11 were held in 2014 to showcase the best talent of the skilled workers and tradesmen, raise the awareness of youth, parents and teachers on the importance of skills training, and to encourage more young people to opt for the vocational education pathway. These competitions provide a platform for young people to excel in their vocational skills, strive for professionalism and make contribution to society. Interactive promotional activities were also organised alongside both competitions to engage the public, particularly the young people and their parents, to understand the importance and learning outcome of VET, and the skill levels and social status of young skilled workers in Hong Kong, including –
Tryout activities for school students to explore what they like best among various skills and trades;
Skills demonstrations by experts to inspire young people to choose a skill that they would like to further pursue; and
Career exhibitions by employers and trade associations to provide youth with information and advice on their career interests.
Attracting over 35 000 visitors, the two mega events successfully promoted skills excellence and enhanced community awareness of VET.
10 The WorldSkills Hong Kong Competition is a biennial event which VTC, CIC and CITA jointly organise.
The last Competition was held on 27 and 28 June 2014 to select the best local candidates and get them prepared to compete for Hong Kong in the WorldSkills Competition, a biennial international and the largest vocational skills competition for young people with 46 skills categories ranging from creative arts and fashion to manufacturing and engineering technology.
11 The GHMC Youth Skills Competition is a biennial regional event held among the four member cities (Guangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao/Chengdu) on a rotational basis. In 2014, VTC hosted the competition on behalf of Hong Kong on 31 October and 1 November.
Apprenticeship and Traineeship Scheme
3.9 Through social media, seminars and different activities, VTC is actively promoting its apprenticeship scheme to attract young people to work in various industries. Industry partners and organisations are invited from time to time to introduce and demonstrate industry-related professional skills to secondary school students in order to engage them in practical interactive experience. To effectively promote the apprenticeship scheme, VTC organises the Outstanding Apprentice/Trainee Award annually, in which awardees are interviewed by the public media. Sharing sessions are also held, in which awardees can share their experience as apprentices/trainees.
3.10 Separately, VTC has launched the Earn and Learn Pilot Scheme in the 2014/15 academic year by integrating structured apprenticeship training programmes and clear career progression pathways, as well as the traineeship scheme as detailed under paragraphs 2.21 to 2.30 above.
Employees Retraining Board
3.11 As detailed in paragraph 2.12 above, ERB provides training and retraining courses and services to eligible employees aged 15 or above with education attainment at sub-degree level or below. As at January 2015, ERB offers about 800 training courses straddling 28 industries. Young people who meet the relevant entry requirements are eligible to enroll in training courses that match their career aspirations and training needs. In addition, ERB provides vocational skills training and placement follow-up services to young people through dedicated training programmes, including the Youth Training Programme, the Youth Management Trainee Programme and the “Squad 3S” Training Programme. To assist young people aged 15 to 24 to gain a better understanding of the employment market and formulate their career plans, ERB introduced the May for Youth Programme in May 2014.
3.12 Since the 2013-14 financial year, ERB has been organising career talks for students of secondary schools and educational institutions offering sub-degree programmes to introduce the characteristics of the employment market in general and the customs, entry requirements and career pathways of different industries.
Construction Industry Council
3.13 To cope with the manpower demand of the construction industry, the Development Bureau (“DEVB”) has obtained a total of $320 million from the Legislative Council in 2010 and 2012 to support CIC to strengthen its role in training local construction personnel and enhance promotion and publicity activities to attract more people to join the industry. With this funding support, CIC launched the
“Enhanced Construction Manpower Training Scheme” with higher training allowance for training semi-skilled workers, targeting trades with projected labour shortage, acute ageing or recruitment difficulties. Up to end 2014, there were more than 6 000 graduates who have graduated from the enhanced scheme. Further, CIC launched the
“Enhanced Construction Supervisor/Technician Training Scheme” for training supervisors/technicians, and provided subsidies for fees of trade tests, specified training courses and skill enhancement courses to enhance the skill levels of in-service construction workers, and advanced training courses for senior construction workers.
3.14 To diversify the training modes and increase the training places for construction workers, CIC launched the Contractors Cooperative Training Scheme (“CCTS”) in collaboration with contractors. Under the CCTS, contractors hire trainees and provide them with relevant training on construction sites. Training allowances and other training expenses are provided by CIC to the participating trainees and contractors. Besides, CIC also launched other collaborative training schemes with relevant industry stakeholders to increase the training capacity.
3.15 CIC plans to kick-start new training measures to upgrade the skills of semi-skilled workers to the level of skilled workers in the coming years with a view to enhancing the supply of skilled workers to meet the needs of the industry. In the 2015 Policy Address, the government announced to provide $100 million for CIC to strengthen their work to train skilled workers for the industry. Continuous efforts will be made to enhance the professional development of construction workers and personnel and provide them with additional progression pathways.
3.16 Besides, in order to uplift the image of the construction industry and attract more new bloods to join the industry, DEVB collaborated with CIC to launch the “Build Up Publicity Campaign” in 2011. Major initiatives include broadcasting the documentary and TV dramas “Dreams come True” (總有出頭天), setting up a dedicated website, introducing the Build Up Ambassador, launching advertisements through various channels such as giant billboard, outdoor banners, MTR light box, bus body, newspapers, etc. to reach out to the target audiences. Besides, CIC has been taking forward various initiatives including organising roving exhibitions, school talks and visits, etc. to attract more people to join the industry and enhance their skills.
Since the launch of the campaign, more young people are willing to join the construction industry.
Electrical and Mechanical Services Department
3.17 The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (“EMSD”) and 17 organisations12 have set up a Working Group for the Promotion of Electrical and Mechanical Industry in Hong Kong in 2012. In June 2014, the Working Group promoted vocational education and apprenticeships in the E&M trade through the WorldSkills Competition cum Construction Industry Mega Fun Day co-organised by VTC and CIC. In addition, EMSD jointly promoted the E&M trade with the Working Group in the EMSD Open Day in November 2014 through exhibition booth and guided tour to the EMSD Headquarters, which attracted over 5 000 visitors including secondary school students and public members. Organised by EMSD, the promotion booths on E&M trade in the E&M Safety Carnival held in December 2014 also attracted over 1 000 visitors. Apart from the above, the Working Group has launched its dedicated website, Facebook page and mobile application to enhance public knowledge about the E&M industry and to encourage more young people to join E&M services-related apprentice training.
12 The organisations include MTR Corporation Limited, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited, Hongkong Electric Company Limited, Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited, Water Supplies Department, VTC's Office of the Director of Apprenticeship, CIC, The Institute of the Motor Industry Hong Kong, seven E&M contractors' associations, The Federation of Hong Kong E&M Industries Trade Unions and EMSD Apprentice Association.
3.18 The Working Group extended its promotion channels through the broadcasting of a nine-episode TV series named “Engineering, Life and Dream” (機電 夢飛翔) from January to March 2014 (with its re-broadcasting in January 2015), which was jointly produced by Radio Television Hong Kong and EMSD. The broadcast was supplemented by activities such as roadshows, career talks to youths, newspaper supplements, and a Launching cum E&M Trade Information Activity Day in January 2014. Subsequently, an online quiz competition about the TV series was organised and has attracted over 5 000 participants. To further promote E&M apprenticeship and careers in the E&M trade, EMSD delivered a talk about “Bright Future in Engineering” in the Education and Career Expo held in February 2015, and the Working Group organised a two-day “E&M Trades Expo – Life Planning” at the VTC Kwai Chung Complex which also attracted around 3 000 visitors in March 2015.
3.19 These channels provided a useful platform for the promotion of the industry in recruiting apprentices. In 2013 and 2014, the recruitment exercise achieved satisfactory results, with a significant increase in the number of applications received from around 600 in 2012 to over 2 400 and 2 900 applications in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
3.20 In addition, EMSD has renamed its “apprentice” as “technician trainee”
since the 2012 recruitment exercise with a view to making its apprentice training more attractive to young people. Starting from the 2013 recruitment exercise, EMSD has introduced a four-year training programme targeting graduates of the New Senior Secondary academic structure as well as enhanced the remuneration package to attract more young people to join the industry. In 2014, a total of 168 technician trainees were recruited.
3.21 The Career Guidance Section (“CGS”) (or former Career Guidance Team (“CGT”)) under EDB provides professional support for schools with a view to enhancing their capacity in delivering life planning education and career guidance services to students, and strengthening collaboration between schools and business entities/organisations through BSPP for the benefits of students’ whole-person development and transition from school to work.
3.22 Through organising career information expo and career guidance seminars cum sharing sessions, updating its website on news about career information and publishing career guidance handbook, CGS provides support to secondary students in making choice for appropriate career and education programmes. In the 2013/14 school year, 15 career guidance seminars cum sharing sessions for students were organised. Moreover, the “Career Information Series 2013-14” was jointly organised with the QF Secretariat which aimed to enable students, teachers and parents to understand the role of QF in the career planning of secondary students as well as the resources provided by CGS. A career information seminar and 19 career talks were held with the support of industries with ITACs set up under QF. The seminar and career talks enabled secondary students to understand the background of different industries, the development and progression pathways, and how QF can facilitate their planning of further study and careers.
3.23 In order to help secondary students to understand the operation, market needs, and the skills and attitude required in different industries, CGS and the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters jointly organised the annual “Summer Career-related Experience Scheme” to encourage students to make preparation for planning their future careers. In the summer of the 2013/14 school year, arrangements were made for 154 students to work in 10 different organisations for a duration of two to eight weeks to benefit from workplace experiences.
3.24 To empower teachers and equip them with the professional knowledge, the number of structured training places has been increased from 80 to 240 starting from the 2014/15 school year. Other than the structured training, workshops, seminars cum sharing sessions were held regularly for teachers.
3.25 Pursuant to the 2014 Policy Address, EDB has implemented various measures to help young people with life planning –
(a) EDB has provided schools operating senior secondary education levels with a recurrent grant with effect from the 2014/15 school year to expand the capacity of schools and their responsible teachers so as to enable them to enhance support services for senior secondary students in respect of life planning, articulation through multiple pathways and realisation of personal goals/aspirations;
(b) EDB expanded CGT to form CGS to strengthen professional support services to schools to take forward a paradigm shift towards life planning education in a more co-ordinated and systematic manner. CGS would conduct advisory visits to schools, organise professional development programmes/sharing sessions for teachers, promote
career-related learning/experiences beyond the classroom and enhance parents’ awareness of the multiple pathways for their children;
(c) EDB would encourage greater participation of business entities/organisations in BSPP, which aims to provide a better learning environment for students to understand different industries, establish positive work attitude, adapt to changes of the economy and ultimately achieve whole-person development through better co-operation and closer alliances between the business sector and schools.
3.26 Apart from the above, EDB organised the annual Information Expo on Multiple Pathways. There were over 30 participating institutions and organisations in 2014, which provided information on locally-accredited post-secondary programmes including VET programmes. Seminars on topics such as multiple pathways for secondary school graduates, preparation for articulation to post-secondary education, and experience sharing with students of post-secondary programmes were held.
3.27 Besides, the Committee on Self-financing Post-secondary Education which was set up in April 2012 to advise the Secretary for Education on the development of the self-financing post-secondary education sector, organised the
“Seminar on Closer Alignment between Post-secondary Education Institutions and Industries” on 30 October 2013. The seminar aimed to serve as a catalyst to promote exchanges between industries and the education and training providers, with a view to integrating education, training, business and employment seamlessly. Industry representatives from the logistics, banking, retail and engineering industries and relevant course operators were invited to share their views on how to foster closer alignment between industries and institutions, so that post-secondary education could more effectively meet the needs of employers and contribute to the economic development of Hong Kong. To sustain the momentum, it is noted that follow-up actions such as stock-taking of the current situation through a questionnaire survey for
post-secondary institutions, focus group meetings with post-secondary graduates, sharing of good practices by post-secondary institutions, conduct of industry-specific survey on opinions of employers on performance of post-secondary graduates, etc. are being or will be taken.
3.28 Since the launch of QF in 2008 which aims to encourage lifelong learning, 19 ITACs have been set up for 20 industries/sector13 as at 1 January 2015, covering about 52% of the local workforce in Hong Kong. ITACs have been playing an important role in promoting QF in the respective industries, drawing up SCSs, formulating clear progression pathways and providing career information to students through various channels.
3.29 EDB and the QF Secretariat have continuously organised various promotional and publicity activities with a view to increasing awareness of QF amongst stakeholders and the public at large. The range of activities held mainly included talks, seminars, visits, forums, road shows, publications and feature articles.
A number of marketing campaigns were also organised to promote QF to the general public. They included the broadcast of Announcement in Public Interest (“API”) on TV and radio channels, advertising on bus bodies, video competition for secondary school students and media interviews.
3.30 Besides, the Financial Secretary announced in the 2013-14 Budget to allocate $10 million per year from the 2013-14 financial year onwards to support ITACs to launch new initiatives to further enhance the knowledge and skills of practitioners in the industries and their competitiveness in the labour market. The Award Scheme for Learning Experiences is one of the initiatives, which aims to encourage outstanding or emerging practitioners to engage in learning activities in different places around the world with a view to broadening their horizons and developing network with industry partners in and outside Hong Kong. These awardees serve as exemplars and role models for their respective industries and help
13 Printing & Publishing, Watch & Clock, Catering, Property Management, Electrical & Mechanical Services, Jewellery, Information & Communications Technology, Automotive, Logistics, Banking, Import & Export, Testing, Inspection & Certification, Retail, Insurance, Manufacturing Technology (Tooling, Metals and Plastics), Elderly Care Service, Security Services, Human Resource Management, Beauty and Hairdressing.
It is worth noting that starting from 1 January 2015, the Beauty ITAC and Hairdressing ITAC have merged to become the Beauty & Hairdressing ITAC to create synergy; and the Chinese Catering ITAC has extended its ambit to cover the whole catering industry and is renamed as the Catering ITAC.
attract the younger generation to pursue career in these fields and promote "multiple pathways; masters of each trade". The awardees are also invited to share their learning experiences in different QF-related functions.
3.31 In addition, riding on the ITAC networks and the competency standards and progression pathways developed for the respective industries, pilot projects with five ITACs14 were organised to promote QF and industries to senior secondary school students. Over 200 students attended the talks, workshops or visits in 2014 and early 2015. Separately, as mentioned in paragraph 3.22 above, the “Career Information Series 2013-14” was jointly organised with CGS which aimed to enable students, teachers and parents to understand the role of QF in the career planning of secondary students as well as the resources provided by CGS. Over 1 000 teachers and students attended. All these efforts aim at enabling teachers, students, parents and the community at large to understand how QF can facilitate students’ planning of further study and careers.
Other Promotion Strategies
3.32 Apart from the above, there are training providers and organisations which have strived to promote VET with a view to nurturing the talent to support different industries. Some other schemes are also in place which can achieve the effect of promoting VET as a side product. For example, in order to cope with the pressing demand for care personnel in the social welfare sector and to provide the younger generation with more employment options and a foundation for career development in care services, the government introduced a “first-hire-then-train” pilot scheme through the Lotteries Fund in 2014.
3.33 Under the pilot scheme, young people are recruited to provide care services at residential care homes for the elderly and are provided with subsidies to pursue a two-year part-time course offered by the Open University of Hong Kong.
After completing the course, they could be promoted to a higher position and pursue further career development in care services. As the youth’s response to the pilot scheme is positive, the government will allocate additional resources to expand the pilot scheme and to include rehabilitation services under the name “Navigation Scheme for Young Persons in Care Services”. The Navigation Scheme will provide an
14 They are Elderly Care Services; Beauty; Information & Communications Technology; Printing &
Publishing; and Hairdressing ITACs.