91. Human capital is a valuable asset for our society. To provide young people with more opportunities to broaden their horizons and apply their knowledge, the Government and relevant organisations have provided training, internship schemes, subsidies, etc. for young people to develop their strengths in different areas.
Innovation and Technology
92. On I&T, last year we extended the funding period of the Researcher Programme (RP) and Postdoctoral Hub and increased the allowance under the RP. So far, the two programmes together have nurtured about 5 700 scientific research talent. We will expand the two programmes in March this year to cover all technology companies conducting R&D activities in Hong Kong. Moreover, we will consolidate the two programmes to provide more flexibility for engaging R&D talent.
93. The Government will also continue to implement the Re-industrialisation and Technology Training Programme, which provides subsidies to local enterprises for training their staff in high-end technologies. The programme has so far benefited over 2 000 staff with a funding of over $13 million.
94. In January this year, we enhanced the Technology Talent Admission Scheme by doubling the technology areas covered by the scheme to 13. We have also extended its coverage to all companies engaging in relevant R&D activities in Hong Kong, which will help them attract more technology talent.
95. The Government has been striving to promote STEM education, with the aim of bringing new blood into the I&T industry. In the 2018/19 academic year, total student enrolments in STEM-related programmes funded by the University Grants Committee exceeded 35 000, representing an increase of 16 per cent over five years. I will set aside $40 million to subsidise short-term internships for undergraduates and postgraduates taking STEM programmes in local universities.
International Aviation Training Hub
96. AA established the Hong Kong International Aviation Academy in 2016 which has since then provided professional training programmes for over 68 000 participants. The Academy is conducive to the development of Hong Kong as an international training base for aviation talent.
Maritime and Aviation Sectors
97. The Government will continue to collaborate with the maritime and aviation sectors to enrich their talent pool through measures such as enhancing the Ship Repair Training Incentive Scheme and the Maritime and Aviation Internship Scheme under the Maritime and Aviation Training Fund, as well as introducing the Local Vessel Competency Enhancement Scheme. As at end of last year, over 8 400 students and in-service practitioners in the maritime and aviation sectors benefited from the Fund.
98. In my last Budget, I proposed the allocation of $200 million for attracting young people to join the construction industry and step up training of workers. The CIC will take forward various initiatives, subject to funding approval by the LegCo.
99. The Government will continue to lead the construction industry to implement Construction 2.0 for enhancing its capacity and promoting its continuous development by advocating innovation, professionalism and revitalisation. In July 2019, the Centre of Excellence for Major Project Leaders was established to enhance the delivery capability of project leaders in the Government and the public sector.
100. To support the development of culture and arts in Hong Kong, I have allocated a total of $216 million to the Arts Development Council and LCSD for providing about 700 placements for internship, scholarship and on-the-job training to strengthen the training of arts administrators.
101. The Government has earmarked $1 billion to support the work of the Youth Development Commission. Of this sum, the Commission has already expended $500 million to implement a range of new programmes and measures, including injection of $300 million into the Youth Development Fund to support youth innovation and entrepreneurship and promote upward mobility. About $100 million under the Fund will be granted to support over 10 NGOs in implementing youth entrepreneurship projects, under which subsidies will be provided for nearly 200 young entrepreneurs who intend to start or have already started their businesses, while start-up support and incubation services will be rendered to about 4 000 young people.
Provision of Internship Places
102. The Government will offer more internship opportunities to students by substantially increasing the short-term internship places in 2020-21 to almost 5 000. This will enable the students to better understand the operation of the Government and the public sector and gain experience, and thereby facilitating their planning ahead for future development.
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