Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in the Legislative Council today (April 9):
The Skills Upgrading Scheme launched in September 2001 provides opportunities for in-service workers of 14 designated industries to pursue further studies at present. The courses are drawn up jointly by representatives from employers, employees and training institutions, whilst the course fees are mainly subsidized by the Government. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the respective numbers of courses relating to information technology (IT) which are provided for the designated industries under the Scheme, and the respective numbers of trainees in such courses;
(b) of the criteria for determining the industries eligible for joining the Scheme; and the reason(s) for not including IT industry as one of those industries; and
(c) whether it will review the criteria stated in part (b); if it will, of the details of such review; if not, the reasons for that?
(a) A total of 40 courses relating to information technology (IT) are provided for the 15 designated industries currently under the Skills Upgrading Scheme (SUS). The details are at Annex (PDF format). As at 31 March 2003, some 2,050 participants have enrolled in these courses.
(b) The SUS aims to provide focused skills training for in-service workers with secondary or lower education level to upgrade their skills, so as to maintain their competitiveness in the labour market.
Any industry wishing to provide skills upgrading training for the respective workers within the industry can apply to the SUS Steering Committee to join the Scheme. When considering the applications, the Steering Committee will generally take into account the following factors :
(i) the future of the industry and its importance to the development of the Hong Kong economy;
(ii) whether a large number of low skill and low education workers in need of skills upgrading are employed; and
(iii) whether the employees and employers in the industry are willing to actively participate in course development so that courses to be offered are of quality, be able to gain recognition in the industry and ultimately be conducive to the promotion of lifelong learning among the workers.
If the IT industry wants to provide focused skills training for its in-service personnel with secondary or below education level, it can submit an application any time for joining the Scheme.
(c) The SUS has a specific objective and specific target participants, and the criteria for determining the industries eligible for joining the Scheme are very clear. We have no plan at present to review the criteria stated in (b).
End/Wednesday, April 9, 2003