Labour and Welfare Bureau responds to media enquiries on Continuing Education Fund

     In response to media enquiries on the scope of courses under the Continuing Education Fund, a spokesman for the Labour and Welfare Bureau (LWB) replied as follows today (October 17):

     Attaching great importance to enabling Hong Kong residents to pursue continuing education, the Government established the Continuing Education Fund (CEF) in 2002. The total funding injection so far has been $6.2 billion. There are currently nearly 8 000 CEF courses offered by around 300 training institutions.

     In the light of some recent opinions that some widely recognised courses, like those designed with reference to the vocational qualifications awarded by the City & Guilds of the United Kingdom, are not covered by the scope of CEF courses, the LWB would like to clarify that City & Guilds is an international professional qualification awarding body and does not provide training courses directly in Hong Kong. Having conducted a rough comparison, the LWB points out that among the 28 industry sectors currently covered by City & Guilds qualifications, the relevant training content of 19 sectors (i.e. nearly 70 per cent) can fall under the designated course domains of the CEF. Preparation courses for other professional qualification examinations may also be registered as CEF courses provided that they meet the relevant requirements.
     At present, any course falling under any of the eight designated CEF domains (namely business services, financial services, logistics, tourism, creative industry, design, languages, and interpersonal and intrapersonal skills for the workplace); or any course which is a Specifications of Competency Standards (SCS)-based course (currently covering 19 industries) under the Qualifications Framework can be registered as a CEF course by application, as long as it has been registered under the Qualifications Register and meets certain basic requirements. Individual training institutions offering courses may consider whether or not to register under the CEF in light of the situation of their courses.
     Currently, the content of some CEF courses (including courses under the domains of languages and business studies as well as SCS-based beauty and hairdressing) may tie in with the qualification assessment of City & Guilds.  In addition, CEF courses also include other preparation courses for different professional qualification examinations, including Certified Public Accountant of Hong Kong, China Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant, Certification in Transportation and Logistic, China Registered Tax Agent, Project Management Professional, Chartered Financial Analyst, CISCO Certified Network Professional, Certified Hotel Administrator and others.
     To encourage the public to pursue continuing education, the Chief Executive's 2017 Policy Address announced that the Government would inject an additional $1.5 billion into the CEF and improve its operation by expanding the range of courses covered, stepping up quality assurance for the curriculum and enhancing protection for applicants. Also, that an additional 150 000 citizens would be able to receive the subsidy. We have engaged a consultant to conduct a review of the CEF. The review is expected to be completed within this year.  

Ends/Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:59