Nurture and Pool Talent
91. In recent years, the number of research personnel and the number of staff members of start-ups in Hong Kong have increased substantially. To nurture I&T talent, the Education Bureau has implemented a number of measures to promote STEM education, including curriculum updating, providing professional training for teachers, subsidising and organising large-scale learning activities, such as the STEM Education Fair. The Standing Committee on STEM Education of the Curriculum Development Council steers and promotes the long-term development of STEM education in primary and secondary schools, as well as reviews continuously the relevant curriculum.
92. The IT Innovation Lab in Secondary Schools Programme has received positive response since its launch. I will set aside over $200 million to extend the programme to primary schools. Funding of up to $400,000 will be provided to each subsidised primary school in the coming three school years, thereby rolling out a "Knowing More About IT" Programme to enhance students' interests and knowledge in information technology and their applications through extra-curricular activities, so as to prepare them for integration into the knowledge-based economy and participation in the development of a digital society. The OGCIO will set up a one-stop support centre to provide assistance for primary schools.
93. Last year, I earmarked $40 million to implement a pilot scheme, under which subsidies are provided for students who study science and technology in local universities to enrol in short-term I&T related internships. More than 1 600 students and over 1 000 enterprises participated in the scheme. Eighty per cent of the interns indicated that they would consider pursuing a career in I&T after graduation. Given the overwhelming responses, I announce that the scheme would be regularised.
94. The Government will launch a Global STEM Professorship Scheme in the first half of this year to support universities in attracting world-renowned I&T scholars and their teams to Hong Kong to participate in STEM teaching and research. The scheme will involve an expenditure of about $2 billion, which will be borne by the Government, the universities and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
95. Job opportunities and continuous training are also crucial for nurturing the I&T talent. In the past three years, the Research Talent Hub has funded over 3 700 R&D positions. Among those engaged, about 1 400 are postdoctoral talent. The Re- industrialisation and Technology Training Programme provided on-the-job training for over 3 500 employees of some 1 800 enterprises so as to enable them to have a better grasp of the development of the new economy and I&T. The Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme launched early this year also provides around 700 I&T places to encourage enterprises to employ Hong Kong's university graduates so that the latter can undertake I&T- related work and receive on-the-job training in Hong Kong and another city in GBA.
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