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Number of cases and selection criteria adopted by ERB and relevant training bodies on the requests made by employers for collaboration in organising tailor-made training courses

LEGCO QUESTION NO. 17(WRITTEN REPLY)


Date of Meeting: 22 November 2000



Asked by : Hon Andrew CHENG

Replied by : Secretary for Education and Manpower

Question :

I have learnt that the Employees Retraining Board ("ERB") and the relevant training bodies have repeatedly rejected requests made by an employer for collaboration in organising tailor-made training courses and in recruiting employees exercises. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows :

  1. the total number of similar requests received by the ERB and the relevant training bodies in the past three years and, among such requests, the respective numbers of those accepted and rejected, as well as the reasons for rejecting them; and

  2. the total number of similar requests received by the ERB and the relevant training bodies in the past three years and, among such requests, the respective numbers of those accepted and rejected, as well as the reasons for rejecting them; and


Reply:

Madam President,

a. The Employees Retraining Board (ERB) offers tailor-made programmes to meet the specific needs of individual employers or groups of employers, as well as trade/employer associations. In the past three years, the ERB had discussed with over 330 employers and 13 trade associations to promote its tailor-made programmes. As a result, tailor-made courses were organised for 151 employers and trade associations. These figures included 67 employers who approached the ERB at their own initiative. Among them, 28 were accepted and 39 were rejected

Proposals for tailor-made programmes are considered by ERB's Course Vetting Sub-committee and the Course Development Committee. Guidelines for the conduct of tailor-made programmes are also distributed widely to ERB's training bodies and other interested parties. In approving proposals for tailor-made programmes, the ERB adopts the following criteria -
  1. the employer, group of employers or trade associations have at least 15 or more vacancies, of which at least 80% would be filled by trainee graduates;
  2. the employer is not able to find suitable candidates from the existing pool of retrainees to meet its specific needs;
  3. the remuneration and related terms and conditions of employment are reasonable and on par with market norm; and
  4. the employer is willing to participate in course design, recruitment of trainees, delivery of pre-employment and on-the-job training, and follow up progress of trainees. This is to ensure the relevance of the training programmes and the employability of the graduates.
b. The criteria aim to safeguard the interests of the ERB retrainees, avoid any possible abuse by unscrupulous employers, and ensure that the resources of the ERB are utilised in a cost-effective manner.

The ERB does not keep record of the reasons for rejecting individual proposals. In general, cases are rejected mainly for the following reasons -
  1. the education requirements of retrainees set by the employers go beyond the ERB's target group;
  2. unemployed workers in ERB's target group cannot possibly be retrained to attain the skill level required;
  3. retraining was considered not essential to attain the required skill level;
  4. the number of job vacancies available is less than the minimum requirement;
  5. graduates from regular retraining courses are already available to fill the vacancies;
  6. the remuneration of the job and related terms and conditions fall below market norm; and
  7. the cost involved is excessive.
Last revision date: 22 November 2000
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