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LCQ15: Earn and Learn Pilot Scheme

     Following is a question by the Hon Kwok Wai-keung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Eddie Ng Hak-kim, in the Legislative Council today (December 2):


     Regarding the Earn and Learn Pilot Scheme (Pilot Scheme), will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it knows the respective numbers of student-workers enrolled in and withdrew from the following programmes under the Pilot Scheme in the school years of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 (up to November 30 this year) (set out in Annex 1), and the general reasons for student-workers' dropping out;

(i)     Diploma of Vocational Education (DVE) programme for electrical and mechanical services trades as well as the construction industry;
(ii)    Higher Diploma programme for electrical and mechanical services trades as well as the construction industry;
(iii)   Higher Diploma programme for the retail industry;
(iv)    "Foundation Diploma (Level 3) - Retail" programme;
(v)     Higher Diploma in Testing and Certification programme;
(vi)    DVE programme for the automobile industry;
(vii)   DVE programme for electrical and mechanical services trades (construction);
(viii)  DVE programme for the printing industry; and
(ix)    DVE programme for the clock and watch industry

(2) whether it knows when the first cohort of student-workers under the Pilot Scheme for Retail Industry will graduate; and

(3) whether it will conduct tracking studies on the employment situation of the student-workers graduated from programmes under the Pilot Scheme (such as surveying if the student-workers are still engaged in the industries concerned three months, one year, two years and three years after graduation, as well as the changes in their employment situation); if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     The Chief Executive announced in the 2014 Policy Address that the Government would implement measures to strengthen vocational education, inter alia, the implementation of the Pilot Training and Support Scheme by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) to attract and retain talent for industries with a keen demand for labour by integrating structured apprenticeship training programmes with clear career progression pathways. The relevant trades covered under the industries concerned are very specialised and carry a high level of technology content. In addition, the Financial Secretary announced in the 2014-15 Budget Speech that the Government had accepted the recommendations of the Task Force on Manpower Development of the Retail Industry and earmarked $130 million to implement measures which aimed at alleviating the manpower tightening problems of the retail industry, including a pilot training and support scheme under the VTC for the retail industry. The two pilot schemes mentioned above are collectively known as the Earn and Learn Pilot Scheme (the Pilot Scheme).

     Regarding Hon Kwok's questions, our reply is as follows:

(1) Students enrolled in Diploma in Vocational Education programmes in Electrical and Mechanical Services and Construction, Electrical and Mechanical Services (Construction), Automobile, Printing and Watch and Clock, and the Higher Diploma programme in Electrical and Mechanical Services and Construction under the Pilot Scheme will find out the requirements of the trades concerned first. Only students who are then offered employment after an interview conducted by the employer can participate in the Pilot Scheme as an apprentice, and students not participating in the Pilot Scheme will continue their studies with the full-time programmes. For those who are interested in taking the Higher Diploma in Testing and Certification, Retail - Foundation Diploma (Level 3) and Higher Diploma in Retail and Merchandising Management, they can be admitted to the programmes as well as the Pilot Scheme when they are offered employment after a job interview.

     According to VTC, reasons for dropping out of the Pilot Scheme include pursuing further studies, taking up full-time employment, health reasons and switching to other trades. The numbers of student intakes and drop-outs of various programmes under the Pilot Scheme as at November 6, 2015 are set out at Annex 2.

(2) The first cohort of students participating in the Pilot Scheme for the Retail Industry will graduate in March 2016.

(3) VTC will conduct a tracking study on the employment status of graduates under the Pilot Scheme including questionnaire surveys to collect information about their jobs, remunerations, changes of jobs or trades, etc.

Ends/Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:45


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