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LCQ11: Retraining programmes

    Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, to a question by the Hon Lau Wong-fat on retraining programmes in the Legislative Council today (October 24):


(a) the current number of unemployed persons with Secondary 3 or lower academic qualifications, and its percentage in the total unemployed population;

(b) the respective numbers of places currently offered by various retraining programmes, as well as the situation of oversubscription of such programmes; and

(c) the measures to provide training to enhance the vocational skills of all those who have sought employment through the Labour Department but are not employed, so as to increase their chances of being employed?


Madam President,

(a) According to the latest labour force statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department, in July - September 2007, there were 60 700 unemployed persons with education level of secondary three or below, accounting for 38.9% of the total number of unemployed (156 100 persons).

(b) The number of training places offered under placement-tied courses by the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) in 2006-07 was as follows -

Major Category        No. of Placement-tied Training
of Courses            Places offered in 2006-07

Domestic Helper (1)                     15 459
Security /                              
Property Management                     17 619
Others (2)                               3 810
Hotel / Catering                         3 407
Healthcare Assistant (3)                 3 398
Massage                                  2 944
Customer Services                        1 819
Tailor-made Courses (4)                  1 812
Courses for the disabled and victims
of industrial accidents                    928
New Courses (5)                            116
Total                                   51 312

(1) Including post-natal care worker and infant and child care worker.
(2) Including clerical, assistant electrician, construction worker, beautician, logistics and travel assistant, etc.
(3) Including personal care worker and elderly home care worker.
(4) Employers and groups of employers that experience difficulty in recruiting staff in certain job types may apply to the ERB for the provision of tailor-made training courses if they have 15 or more vacancies.  These employers are required to undertake to hire up to 80% of the trainees who complete the tailor-made courses. Examples of such tailor-made courses include security and property management training, cleaning worker training, beauty consultant training, customer service training, personal care worker training, courier training, assistant chef training, shop and sales assistant training, programme assistant training, baggage handling assistant training, hotel room attendant training, travel assistant training, cobbler training and masseur training.
(5) Examples of new courses include nail technician training, rehabilitation assistant training, catering and banquet server training, hotel cleaning training and digital photography training for the disabled.

     In view of the strong demand for the training and retraining services provided by the ERB, eligible applicants will be arranged to attend courses subject to the availability of training places.  If a training place is not immediately available, the applicant will be put on the waiting list and given a training place once it becomes available.  The average waiting time for training places offered under placement-tied courses in 2006-07 was about five weeks.

(c) The Labour Department (LD) provides a comprehensive range of employment services through its network of 12 Job Centres.  Placement officers at these centres help job-seekers evaluate their academic qualifications, job skills, work experience and job preferences; assess their training needs and assist them to look for suitable jobs.  They will introduce suitable training avenues to job-seekers where appropriate, including the Employees Retraining Scheme, Youth Pre-employment Training Programme, and Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme.

     As announced by the Chief Executive in the 2007-08 Policy Address, the Government will examine how best to rationalise, integrate and enhance the employment and training services currently provided by the LD, Social Welfare Department (SWD) and ERB.  A pilot scheme will also be launched to trial a one-stop model of employment support and on-the-job training, with a view to more effectively equipping the unemployed and helping them to secure sustained employment.

Ends/Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Issued at HKT 12:35


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