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Speech by FS at flag presentation ceremony for Hong Kong Delegation to WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, at the flag presentation ceremony for the Hong Kong Delegation to WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 in Sha Tin this afternoon (July 25):

Herman, Clement, Carrie, Consul General, members of Team Hong Kong, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon.

     It gives me great pleasure to join you all today for this flag presentation ceremony. I'm delighted to lend my full support to the Hong Kong team heading to São Paulo, Brazil to compete in the 43rd WorldSkills Competition.

     This biennial competition is the world's largest professional education event, involving more than 1 200 participants from all over the world and competing in 50 events showcasing their skills.

     Hong Kong will be sending the largest-ever 18-strong team to compete in 16 events, ranging from graphic design technology, beauty therapy and wall and floor tiling to painting and decorating and also web design. And, for the first time, the team will take part in competitions in joinery, as well as patisserie and confectionery.

     With the increasingly specialised division of labour in different sectors in our society, the demand for specialised talents with specific skills and expertise is also rising. I have, in light of this trend, in my last two Budgets allocated additional resources to strengthen vocational education and training. We have also launched targeted training programmes for specific trades and industries, including construction, retail, clock and watch, printing, health care, as well as testing and certification.

     I believe these measures would help our young people understand better the development path and prospects of various professions, and offer them more diversified options in pursuing their chosen career goals. These targeted training programmes are also imperative in providing a pool of talents with the right calibre and expertise that can meet Hong Kong's future needs in economic development.

     We are also working to provide more internship opportunities for our young people so that they can have a sampling of the real work environment. The exposure is extremely valuable and would help hone their skills and prepare them for the job market. The Vocational Training Council has to this end provided internship programmes for some 9 000 students a year.

     All 18 members of the Hong Kong team are champions who have excelled in the Hong Kong Competition held in 2014. I wish them the best of luck in the upcoming world competition in Brazil. You are already winners. Value the experience in this very special journey and enjoy yourselves. Good luck. Thank you very much.

Ends/Saturday, July 25, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:20


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