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Speech by CS at launch ceremony for HKJC's Career and Life Adventure Planning for Youth Project (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the launch ceremony of Hong Kong Jockey Club's Career and Life Adventure Planning for Youth Project at Sha Tin Racecourse today (April 19):

Simon (Ip), Winfried (Engelbrecht-Bresges), Professor (Joseph) Sung, Professor (Albert) Chan, a lot of good friends from community sector, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon. It is a pleasure to be here at Sha Tin Racecourse on a Sunday afternoon and on this annual community day. As we all know, the Hong Kong Jockey Club is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year. I note that the Club's anniversary-year motto is "Riding High Together for a Better Future." And, indeed, "a better future" is what brings us together on this splendid afternoon. We are here to launch the "Career and Life Adventure Planning for Youth" project, known as "CLAP for Youth @ JC".

     First of all, I would like to thank the Hong Kong Jockey Club and, specifically, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, for spearheading this meaningful and forward-looking youth project. My thanks also go to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, and many other non-governmental organisations and business partners associated with this ambitious initiative.

     "The plant and the gardener" is a metaphor well-known to those in the education field. With the judicious use of fertiliser and water, enough sunlight, pest control, protection from extreme weather and a devoted gardener, most plants will grow well and bloom beautifully.

     Youth, of course, is another species entirely. The dreams and aspirations of young men and women are not always ours. "Seldom ours" is perhaps more appropriate. Loving care and all the protection in the world are not always sufficient. Beyond parental support, our youth have a better chance of blooming, if they can take good advantage of life-planning education and career-guidance counselling.

     In this connection, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has strengthened support for secondary schools, helping them enhance life-planning education for their students. The Chief Executive announced in his 2014 Policy Address initiatives to strengthen life planning education and career guidance in schools, which include the provision of a recurrent Career and Life Planning Grant for schools, as well as stepping up strengthened (structured) training for teachers. We are also organising Business-School Partnership Programme activities in collaboration with the business sector.

     These and other initiatives will help our young people identify their career interests and assist them in making informed and responsible decisions.

     The Government is also promoting vocational education and training, while improving access to higher education. The goal is to give young adults as many possibilities, and as many choices, as possible.

     This largest-scale youth project will expand these initiatives, providing support for our youth, as well as the major stakeholders, those who help guide our young people in their search for career pathways. It aims to develop a paradigm shift of the general public on the life and career goals of our youth by promoting the concept of multiple pathways. The project will not only benefit students, but will also reach out to non-engaged school-leavers through district-based community service teams operated by experienced NGOs.

     It's not that we, as parents, are abdicating our role in the development of our youth. Far from it. We're simply getting some expert assistance. You may recall the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, these days, it takes a city. Thankfully, the city of Hong Kong is there for our youth. Through the Government, our educational and business sectors, our NGOs and now, through "CLAP for Youth @JC" project.

     Youngsters are naturally our future, and future belongs to the youngster. With our concerted efforts, I believe that every seedling will grow up as a flourishing tree.

     In short, "CLAP for Youth @JC" - and all those behind this ambitious new initiative - is certainly worth applauding.

     Thank you very much and have a very nice lunch!

Ends/Sunday, April 19, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:12


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