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Speech by SLW at Hong Kong Jockey Club College opening ceremony (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at the Hong Kong Jockey Club College opening ceremony today (January 14):

Brian (Mr T Brian Stevenson, Chairman, The Hong Kong Jockey Club), Winfried (Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer), Cherry (the Permanent Secretary for Education, Mrs Cherry Tse), distinguished guests,

     It gives me great pleasure to open the Hong Kong Jockey Club College (HKJC College), which marks the Club's latest milestone in the training and development of its 27,000-strong staff.  

     As a small and open economy, Hong Kong must compete on the strength of the qualities of its people. Our workforce is Hong Kong's most treasured asset. This explains why the Hong Kong SAR Government has been investing heavily in education and the training of its workforce. We have to ensure that our workforce stays sufficiently dynamic, motivated, skillful and adaptable so that Hong Kong can continue to thrive in an increasingly competitive and globalised environment. The introduction of the Qualifications Framework (QF) and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Scheme in 2008 marked a significant step in the Government's efforts in further equipping our workforce and sharpening our competitive edge. By giving formal recognition to approved training courses, we aim to encourage businesses to invest in human resources and help employees realise the benefits of lifelong learning and skills upgrading.

     It is encouraging that the Hong Kong Jockey Club is committed to realising this vision. The Club makes history in that it is the first non-tertiary education or non-professional body in Hong Kong to be accredited to run programmes up to Level IV in the QF, which is equivalent to Associate Degree status. This is a commendable initiative. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my warmest congratulations to the 160-plus Club employees who have completed the QF-accredited Certificate Racing Programme, and the 350-plus Club employees who have achieved certification under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) scheme.

     I am sure that the structured training recognised under the QF have expanded the horizons and enriched the knowledge of your staff in racing training, human resources management and customer service. The outcome is a win-win for all. Not only have your employees benefited from the training, the Club is assured of a more knowledgeable, versatile and professional workforce. For our part, the Government also stands to gain through the further development and wider application of the QF. This will, in turn, enhance the competitiveness of our workforce and promote employment.

     A successful organisation in the 21st century must be responsive not only to its clients and changing market demands but also to the aspirations and sentiments of its employees. In this respect, the Hong Kong Jockey Club fits the bill nicely. By taking the initiative of setting up the Hong Kong Jockey Club College, it shows that it does care about the career and professional development of its staff. I wish the College every success in the many years ahead. Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, January 14, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:28


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