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LCQ16: International Cuisine College

     Following is a question by the Hon Lam Tai-fai and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (November 16):


     In the 2011-2012 Policy Address, the Chief Executive proposed to set up an International Cuisine College (the new college) under the Vocational Training Council (VTC), with an aim to provide training for people aspiring to become professional chefs proficient in international cuisines, and attract outstanding members of the culinary profession from around the world to Hong Kong to promote the development of related sectors, such as tourism, catering, retail and wine trading, etc. The new college is expected to be established in 2014 to provide 2 000 places. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has reviewed the differences between the existing Chinese Cuisine Training Institute (CCTI) and the new college to be established in terms of curriculum design and development positioning; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether it will plan to merge the development of the new college with that of CCTI; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(c) of the planned numbers of certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or degree programmes to be provided by the new college each year, as well as the subject categories and duration of these programmes (set out in table form);

(d) of the admission requirements of the new college, as well as the respective percentages of the number of places for local students and those for overseas students in the total number of places; the factors considered by VTC for setting the annual number of places provided at the new college;

(e) whether the training courses offered by the new college can align with the courses offered by the premier culinary colleges on the Mainland and overseas and can be accredited; if they can, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(f) of the qualifications and experience of the teachers of the new college, as well as the teacher-to-student ratio;

(g) of the annual costs for running the new college, together with a detailed breakdown of the estimated expenditure by item; the amount of subsidies to be provided to the new college each year as estimated by the Government, together with a detailed breakdown of estimated expenditure by item; the criteria based on which the Government calculated these estimates, and whether the Government will provide such subsidies by phases; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(h) of the estimated fees at different levels of the programmes offered by the new college each year; whether tuition remission plans will be provided to low-income persons; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(i) whether it has assessed the future manpower needs in the catering industry, and the career prospects of the graduates of the new college; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and  

(j) as it has been reported that VTC is currently considering several sites for the new college with the Government, of the details of the site selection, as well as the area of the new college and the facilities to be provided therein?



(a) and (b) The Chinese Cuisine Training Institute (CCTI), established under the Vocational Training Council (VTC) in 2000, aims to provide Chinese cuisine training and implement a trade test system for the Chinese catering industry. The mission is to establish Hong Kong as a training base and accreditation centre in Chinese cuisine in the Asian Pacific Region and meet the manpower requirements of the Chinese catering industry. In addition, CCTI aspires to promote the Chinese culinary culture and assist in the promotion of the tourism industry of Hong Kong. In just a decade, CCTI has already established its brand name in the international arena.

     Building on the success of CCTI, the Policy Address proposed to establish the International Cuisine College (the new college) to provide culinary programmes of other regions, including European, the Mediterranean, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian, etc.  To cope with the development of the wine industry in Hong Kong, the new college will also provide training programmes on food and wine pairing, sommelier, as well as trade, storage and sale of wine etc. Besides, the new college will develop training programmes related to the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. The new college will provide quality development opportunities for the young people and nurture excellent talents for the community in support of the development of tourism and catering industries in Hong Kong. The new college will also buttress Hong Kong's position as the Gourmets' Paradise and a regional education hub.

     As the focuses of the two colleges are not the same, VTC has no plan to merge the two colleges at this stage. However, the two colleges will try their best to share and manage the resources and part of the training facilities to achieve synergy.

(c) and (d) The new college will provide different programmes at various levels, including higher or professional diploma, diploma and certificate etc, to secondary school students and in-service personnel. The curriculum will cover cuisines of various regions (including European, the Mediterranean, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian), food and wine pairing, sommelier and other wine-related businesses, as well as MICE and entertainment. Taking into account the needs of the industries and the past admission records of similar programmes, the new college plans to provide 2 000 training places (about 660 000 training hours) annually, including 400 full-time pre-employment and 1 600 in-service training places. A small number of these training places may be offered to overseas students.

     The training boards set up under the VTC are composed of experts of the industries, who help advise the Council on the development and manpower needs of the industries. They conduct manpower survey every two years to collect data on the projection of manpower and training needs, with a view to assisting VTC to develop suitable training programmes to meet the needs of the industries in a timely manner. VTC will consult the training boards on the specific programme areas, course contents, training places and entry requirements etc to ensure that the learning outcomes of the programmes meet the requirements of the industries.

(e) The VTC has signed co-operation agreements with a number of cuisine colleges and catering organisations of Germany, Bordeaux of France, Italy, Japan and the United States to strengthen co-operation and exchange of idea.  In particular, VTC has a long history of co-operation with the Education Centre of the Hospitality Industry for Business & Management of Koblenz of Germany. They jointly organise Western Cuisine Trade Tests which are recognised by the member states of the European Union, and leading to Western cuisine qualifications including certified cook, trainer chef, master chef and pastry chef. They have also put in place exchange programmes for teaching staff and students. In addition, VTC is authorised by the National Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to jointly implement the "PRC Chinese Cook Trade Test" system with the Department of Human Resources and Social Security of Guangdong Province, which is the first nationally recognised assessment centre outside the Mainland.  Through the "One Trade Test Two Certificates System", in-service chefs and students can acquire two qualifications in one single assessment, namely the Professional Qualification of Chinese Chef awarded by the CCTI, and the National Occupational Qualification of Chinese Cook awarded by the National Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.  Such an arrangement also helps align the qualifications of Hong Kong and the Mainland.  

     Building on the above competitive advantages, the new college will actively seek further collaboration with renowned catering organisations of the Mainland and overseas with a view to developing internationally recognised assessments, as well as mutual recognition and articulation of qualifications. In designing the curriculum, the new college will make reference to the programmes of overseas cuisine colleges, and take into consideration local academic structure, market demand, and future development of the industry. It will also enhance recognition of its programmes by alignment with the requirements of international assessments and standards.

(f) As a member institution of the VTC, the new college will adopt the Council's established appointment policy and procedures in the recruitment of teaching and supporting staff.  The entry requirements of the teaching and supporting staff, including academic qualifications, professional qualifications and working experience in the industries, will depend on the content and exit level of the programmes concerned. The preliminary estimate is that 70 additional teaching and supporting staff will be required for the new programmes.  In addition to recruiting overseas professional culinary teaching staff, the new college will invite overseas culinary professionals as visiting professors for demonstration, emulation and exchange in Hong Kong through its extensive network of consulates. At present, the teaching team of VTC has already included recruits from Germany, Switzerland, Australia, India and Japan.

(g) With reference to the expenditure of VTC's relevant operation units, the annual operating cost of the new college is estimated to be about $50 million. These include staff salary (accounting for 60%), administrative costs, maintenance fees and other operating expenses.  The Government will take into account the number of intake, training hours, expenditure and the income from tuition fees to determine the level of annual subvention to the new college. It is estimated that the annual recurrent subvention is about $41 million.

(h) The tuition fees of the new college will be determined by the training hours and content of the programmes, and will be comparable to the other member institutions of VTC. VTC will ensure that no student will be deprived of the opportunity to study due to the lack of means.  Students with financial needs can apply for grants and loans under schemes administrated by the Student Financial Assistance Agency or the VTC. In addition, the VTC has in place scholarships and bursary schemes for outstanding students.

(i) As mentioned in replies (c) and (d), training boards under VTC will advise the Council on the development and manpower needs of the industries. They conduct manpower surveys every two years to collect data on the projection of manpower and training needs. The employment rate of the graduates of CCTI and the training centre is almost 100%, which reflects the pressing demand for manpower in the hotel and catering industries. As such, VTC is very optimistic on the career development opportunities of the graduates of the new college.

(j) The VTC is looking for a suitable site for the construction of the new college, and hope that the new college could be located near the CCTI and the Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre in Pokfulam to share resources and achieve synergy.

     At this stage, it is estimated that the campus of the new college would require a construction floor area at about 12 500 square meters to provide training kitchens for different cuisines (such as specifically for the cuisines of Japanese, Indian, the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Jewish food and Latin American etc), demonstration kitchen, multi-purpose teaching rooms and training restaurant. It would also provide training facilities for the wine and related training, including seminar rooms, training bar and wine cellar etc.

Ends/Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Issued at HKT 13:12


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