Technical training beefed up to help building sector
The Vocational Training Council (VTC) is branching out to meet the demands of the construction industry.
VTC executive director Lee Ngok said the council supported the Government's strategy aimed at meeting manpower needs for the building sector.
He said VTC technical institutes already had boosted their training capacity for construction technicians by 720 places - a 15 per cent increase on last year's figures.
'The intake can be increased by a further 160 in 1998-99 if circumstances warrant,' Professor Lee said.
'The council also is now considering how best to increase the training capacity for technicians in the electrical and mechanical trades in the next few years.' VTC training centres will next year begin offering a new crafts course for those wanting to enter the building services sector.
It will initially train 108 individuals, while a new technician's course in building services engineering will have an intake of 16.
The VTC offered free trade tests to local workers to enable them to display specific skills, Professor Lee said.
'We have been offering trade tests for electricians and have an annual testing capacity of 400,' he said.
'Plans are afoot to significantly expand the testing capacity to 1,400 annually.' The council also will expand the testing capacity for air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics - from 20 to 440 by 1998-99.
'The VTC wants to ensure there is an adequate supply of skilled manpower,' Professor Lee said.