SLW encourages MTR apprentices to forge ahead (with photos)

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, visited the Kowloon Bay Depot of the MTR Corporation Limited (MTR Corporation) this morning (September 30) to know about the latest development of its Apprentice Training Scheme (the Scheme). He also had a dialogue session with the young apprentices and encouraged them to better equip themselves with professional training and make good use of the immense opportunities arising from the development of the railway industry to pursue their careers.

     Accompanied by MTR Corporation's Operations Director, Mr Jacob Kam, and Acting Human Resources Director, Mr Daniel Shim, Mr Cheung had a dialogue session with more than 300 young apprentices of the Scheme to share his views on apprenticeship training. He said, "The Government attaches great importance to vocational training and manpower development. I am very pleased that the MTR Corporation has all along been providing young people with ample opportunities for training and development.

     "Hong Kong's labour market remains broadly stable and is close to full employment. Plenty job opportunities are available in the railway industry as the various major railway projects undertaken by the MTR Corporation will require a considerable number of talents and skilled manpower after completion. Apprentices can rise to successful professionals or even qualified engineers or managers if they continue to pursue further knowledge and skills in their specialty."

     Speaking on the changing manpower demand across different education levels arising from Hong Kong's economic development, Mr Cheung pointed out that "blue-collar" technicians with professional skills will have an edge over other job seekers in the labour market. He reminded youths to think about their career aspirations with a broader horizon so as to open up more job opportunities for themselves.  He also advised parents to change their traditional mindset since every trade produces its own achievers.

     Before concluding his visit, Mr Cheung toured around MTR Corporation's Electrical and Mechanical Workshop, Non-destructive Test Workshop and Mechanical Workshop to observe the apprentices' daily training environment. He also visited the driving cab simulator to better understand railway operations.

     MTR Corporation established its Apprentice Training Scheme under the Apprenticeship Ordinance in 1978. Through cooperation with the Vocational Training Council, the Scheme provides apprentices with systematic on-the-job training over a period of three to four years. To date, over 1 300 young people have completed their training under the Scheme.

     Also joining today's programme were MTR Corporation's Corporate Affairs Director, Ms Linda So, and Head of Operations Training, Mr David Leung.

Ends/Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Issued at HKT 13:45