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Opening remarks by SHA at press conference on support for youth initiatives in 2014 Policy Address (with video)

     Following is an English summary of the opening remarks by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, at the press conference today (January 16) on support for youth initiatives in the 2014 Policy Address:

     The Chief Executive delivered his second Policy Address yesterday. One chapter is dedicated to the nurturing of the next generation. Some of the announced initiatives fall under the purview of the Home Affairs Bureau.

     First, the Government's recurrent subvention for uniformed groups (UGs) will be doubled in the coming year. The UGs have a total of more than 138,000 young members, and they will benefit from the increase. In addition, funding for the Assistance Scheme for Needy Student Members will be increased, so that more needy students can participate in the activities of uniformed groups.

     Second, the Government will extend the International Youth Exchange Programme to more places, and has earmarked extra funding.

     Also, the Home Affairs Bureau will sponsor more Mainland exchange programmes for young people, and a new funding scheme specifically for youth internship in the Mainland will be launched. About 1,700 young people will be supported, double that of last year.

     Third, in line with our concept of multiple excellence, a $100 million scholarship will be set up. On a full cost recovery basis, universities and tertiary institutions are encouraged to admit 20 local students who excel in sports, arts and community service annually starting from the 2015/16 academic year. We are now in discussions with stakeholders regarding the details of the scholarship scheme with an objective of having the first batch of these students by September 2015 when the school term begins.

     Fourth, we propose to increase funding to non-government organisations for deploying persons to secondary schools to provide counselling services on furthering studies and employment.

     In addition, the Government will continue to implement the Youth Hostel Scheme. In addition to the two projects in Sheung Wan and Tai Po, we will launch two more projects in Mong Kok and Jordan. The rent for the hostel places will not be higher than 60 per cent of the market rental fees.

Ends/Thursday, January 16, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:55


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