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LCQ16: Youth Employment and Training Programme
     Following is a question by the Hon Lillian Kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, in the Legislative Council today (April 19):


     It has been reported that the problem of youth unemployment is serious in Hong Kong. The unemployment rate of persons aged 20 to 29 was 5.9 per cent from November 2022 to January 2023. On the other hand, the Government has launched the Youth Employment and Training Programme (the Programme) to provide a job search platform with one-stop pre-employment and on-the-job training for eligible youth aged 15 to 24, with a view to enhancing their employability. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the number of trainees participated in on-the-job training under the Programme in each of the past five years, with a breakdown by the age distribution of the trainees and the industries and positions involved in the training;

(2) of the respective numbers of trainees in each of the past five years who, after completing the Programme, (i) were engaged in jobs related to their on-the-job training, (ii) were engaged in jobs unrelated to their on-the-job training, and (iii) had not secured jobs; and

(3) whether the authorities will regularly review the pillars under the Programme and enhance those courses with unsatisfactory enrolment (e.g. updating, redesigning or deleting course contents); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     The Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy for formulating suitable measures to assist young people in entering the employment market. The Labour Department (LD) implements the Youth Employment and Training Programme (YETP) to provide young school leavers aged 15 to 24 with educational attainment at sub-degree level or below with a series of free and dedicated training and employment support services. Young people participating in the YETP can enrol in training courses and take part in workplace attachment training and/or on-the-job training (OJT) based on their interests and needs. Employers employing young people through the YETP and providing OJT are eligible for the OJT allowance. In addition, the YETP has been launching various special employment projects and arranging pre-employment training and OJT to enhance the employability of young people in collaboration with training bodies and employers.

     The reply to the Hon Lillian Kwok's question is provided as follows:

(1) The breakdowns of trainees placed into OJT vacancies under the YETP in the programme years from 2017/18 to 2021/22 (from September each year to August of the following year) by age, industry and occupation are set out at Annex 1.

(2) The LD conducts surveys every year on the employment position of trainees who enrolled under the YETP and completed the 12-month employment support services. The survey findings in the programme years from 2017/18 to 2021/22 (see Annex 2) revealed that over 80 per cent of trainees were in employment or in study/undertaking training at the time of the surveys. The survey findings did not indicate whether the trainees engaged in jobs that were related to their OJT.

(3) The LD reviews the YETP from time to time and implements enhancement measures in response to the employment market situation to facilitate young people to enter the workforce. The LD raised the ceiling of the OJT allowance payable to employers to $5,000 per month in September 2020. In addition, the LD has, from April 1, 2023, onwards, enhanced the collaboration with the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) to widen the chances and choices of the YETP trainees in receiving pre-employment training, so as to enhance their employability. Under the new arrangement, case managers of the YETP will assist trainees to enrol in about 700 courses offered by the ERB, including dedicated courses for young people under the Youth Training Courses, and vocational skills courses covering various industries such as information and communications technology, hotel, tourism, beauty therapy as well as education and recreation. In tandem, the LD has also raised the rate of training allowance payable to the eligible YETP trainees to a maximum of $241 per day. The LD will continue to monitor the employment situation of young people and adjust or enhance the relevant employment support measures when necessary.
Ends/Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:05
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