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SLW presents awards to exemplary trainees of youth employment programmes

    The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, presented awards to 10 exemplary trainees who had achieved significant improvements under the Youth Pre-employment Training Programme (YPTP) and the Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme (YWETS) at a ceremony today (July 24).

    Mr Cheung encouraged the awardees to keep up the good work and commended the caring efforts of employers and training bodies. He also  appealed to the community to support youth employment.

    The youth employment situation has improved notably recently.  The unemployment rate for youngsters aged between 15 and 24 for the period from April to June this year has dropped 0.9% from 9.2% to 8.3% while the number of unemployed youth has decreased by 5,200 to 29,800 compared with the same period last year.

    Mr Cheung said, "The Government will continue to assist young people to secure employment in a multi-pronged way through enhancing the education system, strengthening manpower training, promoting life-long learning and providing customised employment support.

    "The YPTP and the YWETS aim at enhancing the employability of young people, facilitating a smooth transition to employment, and providing sustainable employment opportunities.  With the benefit of a 'revolving door' mechanism, trainees received 'through-train' pre-employment and on-the-job training support throughout a programme year.

    "The two programmes also jointly organised tailor-made training projects to address the recruitment needs of individual employers.  Trainees engaged under such projects attend tailor-made pre-employment training courses under the YPTP formulated in consultation with the participating employers before undertaking on-the-job training with the same employers under the YWETS."

    Since the launching of the YPTP and the YWETS, 85,000 young people have been trained since 1999 while 56,000 have secured employment since 2002 under the respective programmes.

    Also speaking at the ceremony, the Commissioner for Labour, Mrs Cherry Tse Ling Kit-ching, said that the YPTP and the YWETS were two major initiatives to help young people unleash their potential to the fullest. The two programmes provided a wide range of pre-employment and on-the-job training as well as career guidance and employment support to help youngsters map out their career paths.

    "The Labour Department will continue to closely co-operate with training bodies and employers in delivering the two programmes.  To tie in with the graduation time of students, joint applications for the YPTP and the YWETS 2008-09 will commence shortly.  Youngsters are encouraged to make good use of the training and job placement services of both programmes," she said.

    Joint application for the YPTP and the YWETS 2008/09 (Phase I) will be open to young people aged 15 to 24 from August 2, 2008, free of charge.  The Labour Department has also set up a special Youth Employment Services hotline, 2112 9932, to provide a one-stop enquiry service on the two programmes and to receive training vacancies from employers.

    A trial project - "Targeted Career Training Mission" - under the YPTP, which aims to proactively provide training and employment support in a more flexible way, was also announced at the ceremony. Through collaboration between the YPTP and organisations operating outreach services for youths, smaller size training classes underpinned by a career guidance service by registered social workers will be introduced. 

Ends/Thursday, July 24, 2008
Issued at HKT 15:45


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