LegCo Panel on Manpower
Youth Pre-employment Training Programme
We informed Members on 24 June 1999 that the Administration planned to launch a new, six-month "Youth Pre-employment Training Programme" this September to help enhance the employability of young school leavers, and sought Members' advice on various aspects of the Programme. This paper reports on the latest development.
2. The response to the Programme has been very encouraging. We have secured funds from the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Government. Training bodies, non-government organisations and government departments have responded very positively. Together they have offered some 25,000 training places as well as counselling service. A list of the organisations and government departments providing modular training under the Programme and their respective training capacity is provided at Annex A.
Guidance and Counselling Service
3. In order to provide the trainees with support during the course of the Programme, guidance and counselling service will be provided by social workers specializing in youth services from 30 non-government organisations as well as the social welfare organisations. The social workers will help the trainees gain a better understanding of their needs and plan their career realistically based on their educational background, interests and abilities; motivate them to participate actively in various training courses and attachment training; and help them review and consolidate skills and knowledge acquired under the Programme. All the major youth groups will be involved in the provision of the counselling service. A list of these organisations is provided at Annex B.
Workplace Attachment Training
4. Employers have also actively supported the Programme. Up to mid-September, we have managed to secure some 10,000 workplace attachment training places from about 420 organisations. We expect this figure to increase further as we continue to receive attachment offers.
5. The Administration will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and quality of workplace attachment training. In particular, we will adopt the following measures -
- to vet all attachment offers against a set of standard criteria. The offers must not involve dangerous work, the work duration must not exceed 35 hours a week, the organisations should appoint a mentor to supervise the trainees, the work must not involve any immoral activities etc.
- to promulgate widely the above requirements on workplace attachment training to all participating organisations through meetings and distribution of guidelines.
- to require all organisations providing attachment training to arrange orientation sessions for the trainees assigned to them prior to attachment. Both the organisations and the trainees may opt out of the particular attachment in case either party finds the arrangement unsuitable.
- to encourage trainees to report any abuses by the host organisations. A hotline will be set up within the Labour Department to handle these complaints. If considered necessary and appropriate, the concerned attachment arrangement may be suspended.
- to provide a network of support for trainees by assigning to them experienced social workers specialising in youth work, who will provide the necessary support and counselling service throughout the Programme. These counsellors will be very useful to the young people for coaching them throughout the six-month programme period.
6. The attachment offers received cover a wide spectrum from clerical duties to service and sales work, as well as IT-related duties. The attachment offers involve work in various sectors, including wholesale and retail, service, restaurants, hotels, transport, manufacturing, communications, social and personal services, finance, insurance, construction, government, etc.. A list of the organisations offering workplace attachment places for the Programme is provided at Annex C.
7. To provide better protection, we will take out a group insurance policy to indemnify the trainees of the Programme against public liability and in the event of personal accidents.
8. We have publicised the Programme through schools, social welfare organisations, district offices, Local Employment Services Offices, the electronic and printed media, pamphlets and posters, etc. Response from the youth has been overwhelming. 17,000 applications have already been received since registration commenced on 1 September 1999. Applicants will be assigned to courses and attachments by a computerised matching process based on the applicants' own preferences. The first batch of 59 courses with 1,488 participants will commence on 20 September.
9. Upon completion of the Programme in March 2000, we will conduct a review to see how best to equip school leavers in the 15 - 19 age group with pre-employment training before they enter the labour market.
Education and Manpower Bureau