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Budget Speech

Career Navigation and Training

106.    The Vocational Training Council (VTC) will launch a pilot training and support scheme to attract new entrants for industries with keen demand for labour.  Under the scheme, structured apprenticeship training programmes will be integrated with clear career progression pathways.  The 2 000 apprentices joining the scheme will receive an allowance from Government and the industries.  Meanwhile, the Education Bureau (EDB) will strengthen support to schools to enrich and strengthen career guidance service and life planning education to enable students to realise their potential.

107.    In my last Budget, I announced the setting up of the Task Force on Manpower Development of the Retail Industry to study the outlook of the retail industry and its manpower demand and supply.  Government has accepted the Task Force's recommendations and will allocate $130 million for their implementation, including the funding support mentioned earlier for retailers to increase productivity.  We will also assist the VTC in strengthening its vocational education and training with reference to the Specifications of Competency Standards for the Retail Industry that was newly drawn up under the Qualifications Framework (QF).  This includes running retail courses through a professional institution and launching pilot courses combining classroom learning and work placement.  We shall work with the industry to enhance the image of the trade.  The Labour Department will provide targeted recruitment and employment services as well as organise large-scale and district-based job fairs, all dedicated to the retail industry.

108.    We shall seek closer collaboration with tertiary institutions and the industry to bring IT education more in line with the needs of the industry.  We shall step up publicity about the contribution made by IT to our society and economy to enhance the profession's image.  There are many examples of renowned IT talents around the world who started their own businesses at a young age and soon became leading figures in the IT sector.  To identify such gifted young people earlier, we plan to incorporate enrichment programmes in secondary schools which are outstanding in IT education.  By so doing, we hope to cultivate young IT professionals and even entrepreneurs to meet the development needs of a digital society.

109.    Professionals and skilled personnel in various areas of the financial services industry are of vital importance to the sustained development and expansion of the sector.  In this connection, FSTB will consult the industry and conduct an in-depth study on related issues, and submit their recommendations to me.



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