Youth trainee scheme pays off

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2007, 12:00am

Job opportunities are open to Form Five graduates who wish to gain more life and social experience through work instead of academic studies.

The Labour Department's Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme, which was launched in July 2002, has been helping thousands of Form Five school leavers establish their careers by offering incentives to employers and employees.

The scheme for employers provides a six to 12 months' training subsidy of HK$2,000 for each trainee. The trainees receive career counselling and support services and a HK$4,000 subsidy for course and examination fees of off-the-job vocational training.

The scheme has borne fruit. Wing On Department Stores Group made some of the trainees its sales trainees, and the Airport Authority of Hong Kong took on some of the scheme's trainees as airport ambassadors. Their outstanding performance earned commendations from customers and travellers.

Ten months after its launch, the airport ambassador programme had brought to the Airport Authority more than 100 commendation letters from passengers. Trainees working in Wing On's women's fashion section also earned written customer praise.

Wing On took on four trainees as permanent staff.

Seeing the vitality and creativity of youngsters, Sun Wah Hi-tech Group recruited two Form Five graduates through the scheme, instead of recruiting university graduates as usual, to assist in production of educational software. The firm discovered that there was no direct relationship between creativity and education attainment.

TML Engineering took on two of the scheme's trainees and, after on-the-job training, they were making a significant contribution to the company.

They further developed interest in telecommunications and worked hard for the company.

Property company Jones Lang LaSalle had a problem retaining young staff because they tended to job hop. However, the scheme's trainees impressed regional director Eric Lee.

'We're very glad to see that they are mature, steady, humble and committed to learning, which eases our concerns about recruiting young people.'

The new impetus they brought to the firm helped enhance service quality and rejuvenated staff.