Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur K C Li, in moving the second reading of the Vocational Training Council (Amendment) Bill 2003 at the Legislative Council meeting today (January 14):
I move that the Vocational Training Council (Amendment) Bill 2003 be read the Second time.
With rapid economic growth in the Pearl River Delta region in recent years, an increasing number of Hong Kong firms engaging in cross-border operations and Mainland entities will recruit workers from Hong Kong. It is paramount that the Vocational Training Council, or the VTC in short, is able to provide our workforce with the relevant training to cater for the demand of these firms and maintain the competitiveness and employment prospects of our workers.
It will also be beneficial to our young people for the VTC to arrange for industrial attachment across the border for its students. This will help our youngsters acquire valuable working experience and enhance their employment opportunities upon graduation.
In order to bring about these benefits to the business sector and community at large, we need to amend the VTC Ordinance to empower the VTC to engage in activities outside Hong Kong. This is the main proposal covered in the VTC (Amendment) Bill 2003.
The Bill also covers two other minor amendments to the VTC Ordinance. The first amendment is to replace the term "disabled person" with "person with a disability". This is to conform with international nomenclature. The second is to provide for any one of the Deputy Chairmen of the VTC to be signatory of accounts when the Chairman is absent from Hong Kong or is unable to act as Chairman.
Madam President, I hope that Members will support the VTC (Amendment) Bill 2003.
Ends/Wednesday, January 14, 2004