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Navigation Scheme for Young Persons in Care Services formally launched to inject new blood into social welfare care sector
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     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has announced that the Navigation Scheme for Young Persons in Care Services was formally launched today (July 14) with a view to injecting new blood into the social welfare care sector.

     A spokesman for the SWD said that through the Navigation Scheme, opportunities for employment and training, including a two-year part-time course under government subsidy, will be offered to young persons who are interested in working in care services in the welfare sector, so that they can develop their skills along an established career path through on-the-job training.

     The spokesman said that, to encourage the young generation to join the elderly long-term care sector, a "first hire, then train" pilot project was launched in 2013 through funding under the Lotteries Fund. Young persons were hired to take up care work in residential care homes for the elderly. In view of the positive response to the pilot project, the Government has earmarked approximately $147 million to launch the Navigation Scheme and to expand it to cover rehabilitation services, providing a total of 1 000 training places.

     "Under the Navigation Scheme, arrangements will be made for young persons to take up care work in elderly or rehabilitation service units. Before that, the operating agencies shall arrange for the young persons to attend an orientation programme, including personal care worker training and a first aid certificate course, to equip them for entering the care sector," the spokesman said.

     "The young recruits will be required to work 44 hours per week (including meal break) in the service units with which they are employed at a starting monthly salary of $9,900 in 2015-16 as Care Workers. Upon registration as a Health Worker, the monthly salary will be raised to $11,890. Furthermore, the elderly and rehabilitation service units offering job placement shall provide mentorship as well as employment guidance and support to young persons to facilitate their adaptation to the working environment," he said.

     After taking up employment, young persons will attend a two-year part-time course at a qualified training institute. The course fee will be processed on a reimbursement basis. Fees will be reimbursed to the trainees annually upon their successful completion of the course each year with a certificate issued by the training institute.

     "At the completion of the two-year part-time study, young recruits will be recognised for having a qualification at Qualification Framework Level 3 or Level 4. Those who are interested in developing their career in the care service and meet relevant eligibility criteria may, on the basis of their multi-skill qualification, pursue other training courses, such as nursing or management courses, on their own initiative and move further up their career ladder in the social welfare sector," the spokesman added.

     The SWD has selected five non-governmental organisations to implement the Scheme. Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service - Hong Kong, Haven of Hope Christian Service and Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service will commence service in 2015-16, and Caritas - Hong Kong and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals will commence service in 2016-17.

     The service operators at the launch the Navigation Scheme in 2015-16 have been preparing a variety of publicity activities, including organising an Information Day and a Recruitment Day, to introduce relevant details about their respective implementation plans. They will also set up information booths in various secondary schools tomorrow (July 15) when the results of the 2015 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination are released, with a view to recruiting secondary school graduates to join the Navigation Scheme, the spokesman said.

     Young people aged between 18 and 25 who have completed Secondary Five or possess an equivalent qualification and are interested to join the Navigation Scheme in 2015-16 may contact the operating agencies through the following means:

Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service - Hong Kong
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Address: 341-360, 3/F Shek Yuk House, Chun Shek Estate, Sha Tin, New Territories
Tel: 9538 8213
Fax: 2695 7588
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.elchk.org.hk

Haven of Hope Christian Service
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Address: 7 Haven of Hope Road, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories
Tel: 2643 3365
Fax: 2706 0463
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.hohcs.org.hk

Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service
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Address: 2/F, Hoi Yan House, Hoi Fu Court, Hoi Wang Road, Mong Kok West, Kowloon
Tel: 6239 5584
Fax: 2782 0349   
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.yang.org.hk

     For further information and enquiries about the Scheme, please refer to the SWD website (www.swd.gov.hk) or contact the Elderly Branch of the SWD at 2892 5560 or 2892 5414.

Ends/Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:30

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