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Opening Ceremony of HKTDC Education and Careers Expo 2023

Dr CHOI Yuk-lin, JP, Secretary for Education
Opening Ceremony of HKTDC Education and Careers Expo 2023
on 2 February 2023 (Thursday)
 
Dr CHOI Yuk-lin, JP, Secretary for Education

Ms (Sophia) Chong, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.  It is my great pleasure to join you all today at the opening ceremony of this year’s Education and Careers Expo organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).  I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you, particularly our friends from different parts of the world.  At the start of the Chinese New Year, may I wish you all a prosperous Year of the Rabbit.

This year marks the 32nd edition of the Education and Careers Expo.  I would like to congratulate the HKTDC for successfully organising this annual premier event which provides a valuable platform for educational institutions and private enterprises to directly disseminate to the public up-to-date information on further studies and career opportunities.  The event also ties in with the Government’s policy of providing quality, flexible and diversified pathways with multiple entry and exit points for learners with diverse aspirations and abilities.

In the 20th National Congress, the strategy of “invigorating the country through science and education and developing a strong workforce for the modernisation drive” has been highlighted.  To nurture quality talents, the Government has been promoting the parallel development of publicly-funded and self-financing post-secondary education sectors in Hong Kong.  Currently, more than 50% of our young people in the relevant age cohort have access to degree-level education, and around 80% are given the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education.

As remarked by President Xi, Hong Kong will prosper only when its young people thrive.  The Government has all along been committed to promoting Vocational and Professional Education and Training, or VPET in short, to equip young people with work skills for the future, applied knowledge in innovation and technology, and critical soft skills for career progression in the new digital age, which helps them make headway towards the ideal of being the masters of their trades.

In line with the Chief Executive’s Policy Address 2022, we will, through the strategy of fostering industry-institution collaboration and diversified development, adopt a multi-pronged approach on various fronts to further promote VPET as a pathway parallel to conventional academic education, encourage the alignment of classroom education with industry needs and collaboration between businesses and education institutions, with a view to providing diversified learning and employment opportunities for young people and nurturing more quality talents with applied skills for different trades and industries.

Apart from promoting VPET, the Government also garners support from all stakeholders, including the business sector, to provide an array of career exploration activities to our secondary school students so that they can make informed choices about their studies and future careers according to their aspirations and abilities.  Since the launch of the Business-School Partnership Programme 2.0 this school year, we have been actively liaising with major chambers of commerce, professional bodies as well as small and medium enterprises, including those of emerging industries, to encourage more organisations to join the Programme.  As such, a greater number and variety of career exploration and work experience activities will be provided to help students gain an initial understanding of the workplace.  To benefit more students, we are targeting to increase the number of business partners by 15% this school year.  Since the 2014/15 school year, more than 470 business entities and organisations have arranged over 8 000 career exploration activities for more than 1.29 million student participants.  Through hands-on experience in the workplace, students can explore their career orientations, and know more about the actual operation of different enterprises and the day-to-day work of different job positions.

To help our younger generation grasp the unprecedented opportunities presented by the rapid development of the Greater Bay Area, I appeal to all of you for your continued support.  With our concerted efforts, I am confident that we could nurture a pool of talents with global perspectives and professional skills to contribute to the ongoing development of the country and the city.  In closing, may I wish the 32nd Education and Careers Expo a great success and all of you a fruitful and inspirational experience in participating in this significant event.  Thank you.