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Long waiting time for admission to courses provided by various vocational training bodies

LEGCO QUESTION NO. 11(WRITTEN REPLY)


Date of Meeting: 25 April 2001



Asked by : Hon LEE Cheuk-yan

Replied by : SEM

Question :

I have received a complaint from a member of the public who alleged that when he applied at the end of 1996 for a 60-day Crawler-mounted Mobile Crane Operation Course provided by the Construction Industry Training Authority ("CITA"), he was informed that he had to wait until August 2002 before he could be admitted to the course. In connection with the waiting time for admission to courses provided by various public-funded vocational training bodies, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the CITA has taken any measures, such as increasing training places, in the past five years to shorten the waiting time for admission to the course; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

  2. of the courses provided by various vocational training bodies last year which had a waiting time for admission exceeding 12 months, and the measures such bodies have taken to shorten the waiting time for such courses?


Reply:

Madam President,

a. The "Crawler-mounted Mobile Crane Operation Course" provided by the Construction Industry Training Authority (CITA) aims at familiarising the trainees with the operation of crawler-mounted cranes, which are mainly used in foundation and site formation works for lifting heavy equipment or materials. The CITA mainly draws reference to the supply and demand conditions of the construction industry when working out the number of training places each year. Since the demand for crane operators varies with the number of major works projects launched and completed, the number of job vacancies for crane operators fluctuates accordingly. In the past two academic years, 48 trainees completed the 60-day Crawler-mounted Mobile Crane Operation Course, but only 31 of them were successfully placed with the help of the CITA. The employment prospect for these trainees was not entirely satisfactory. According to the statistics of the CITA, during the period from 1 December 1993 to 31 December 2000, a total of 2 155 persons passed the trade test and became qualified crawler-mounted crane operators. Hence, there are already a considerable number of trained crane operators available in the market. In these circumstances, the CITA has no plan to increase the number of training places for the Course for fear that this will lead to an over-supply of crane operators and exacerbate the unemployment situation in this trade.

In view of the long waiting time for admission to the Course and the limited job vacancies for crane operators, the CITA often advises applicants on the waiting list to enrol in other courses which have ready vacancies and offer better employment prospect.
b. For all courses provided by the Clothing Industry Training Authority last year, the waiting time for admission was less than 12 months. Courses provided by the CITA and the Vocational Training Council (VTC) which have a waiting time for admission exceeding 12 months and the corresponding measures taken to shorten their waiting time are set out below -

Construction Industry Training Authority
Courses which have a waiting time for admission exceeding 12 months include the Crawler-mounted Mobile Crane Operation Course, Computer Aided Drafting Course, Excavation Operation Course, Wheeled Telescopic Mobile Crane Operation Course and Tower Crane Operation Course.

As mentioned above, the CITA has worked out the number of training places mainly in accordance with the supply and demand conditions of the industry. When the CITA decides on the number of courses to be provided, employment opportunity is the major consideration. If the waiting time for admission to certain courses exceeds 12 months, the CITA will write to the applicants, informing them of the approximate waiting time and recommending them to apply for admission to other courses which have shorter waiting time.

Vocational Training Council
Listed below are two courses provided by the VTC which have a waiting time for admission exceeding 12 months -
  1. LPG Vehicle Servicing Course
    The VTC's Automobile Industry Training Centre now offers about 400 training places a year. As there is an overwhelming number of applicants (about 700 applicants are waiting for admission), the waiting time for admission is normally over one year. In view of this, the VTC is considering the possibility of using the LPG Vehicle Servicing Workshop of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee Campus) or hiring other venues to increase the number of training places and shorten the waiting time for admission.
  2. Electrician/Electrical Fitter Upgrading Course
    As there is a significant number of applicants (the aggregated number of applicants amounts to 1 200), the waiting time for admission is normally 13 months. The VTC's Electrical Industry Training Centre has already increased the number of training places from 400 in 1999/2000 to 960 in 2000/2001 and further to 1 080 in 2001/2002. In the meantime, the VTC is renovating the workshop in the Kwai Chung Training Centre for the purpose of further increasing the number of training places so as to shorten the waiting time for the course.
Last revision date: 25 April 2001
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