LCQ16:Internships offered to undergraduates by statutory bodies

     Following is a question by the Hon Paul Chan Mo-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (December 1):

Question :

     Some members of the public have relayed to me that some public bodies and public corporations which are statutory bodies have refused to accept applications for unpaid internships by local and overseas Hong Kong undergraduates who are studying disciplines relevant to these statutory bodies' scope of responsibilities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it knows, in the past five years, which public bodies and public corporations had offered internships to undergraduates; the number of internships and when they were provided; in respect of each of these statutory bodies and corporations, the number of applications received, the criteria for screening these applications, the respective numbers of local and overseas undergraduates eventually offered internships, the academic disciplines that the interns were studying; whether the interns were remunerated and their wage levels;

(b) whether it knows which public bodies or public corporations at present do not provide internships for undergraduates, and the reasons for that; whether they have considered providing such internships; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) when the Government sets up public bodies and public corporations as statutory bodies again in the future, whether it will encourage them to provide internships for undergraduates; if not, of the reasons for that?
Reply :


     My consolidated reply to the various parts of the question is as follows:

     Statutory public bodies and public corporations decide their own human resources policies (including whether internship positions will be offered). As they are not required to report such information to the Government, we do not have any records on the number of internship positions offered.

     However, we understand that many public or private organisations would offer internship positions for university students in accordance with their business development needs and human resources policies. Furthermore, many local and overseas tertiary institutions provide career counselling services to their students. Depending on course requirements, students' interests and needs, and the likely benefits that can be obtained from internship programmes, career offices or faculty administration offices of these institutions will, through their established connections with employers, invite private or public organisations to provide internship positions to their students.

     The tertiary institutions will disseminate information on the internship positions received to eligible students through various channels and provide them with matching as well as referral services as appropriate. Participating organisations will agree with the interns on whether allowances are payable, having regard to the nature, duties, requirements and training contents of the internship positions.

     We trust that statutory public bodies and public corporations would have regard to their missions, business development needs and human resources policies and provide internship opportunities. The tertiary institutions, with well-established connections with employers, ample experience in providing career counselling services and thorough understanding of their students' needs, would be most effective in enlisting the support from individual private or public organisations in providing suitable internship opportunities.

Ends/Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Issued at HKT 11:56