Ocean Park catering programme gives graduates a new direction

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 June, 2010, 12:00am

Graduates of a theme park's catering trainee programme said they used to be clueless about their future, but have found direction from the scheme. They were speaking as the second class of graduates took part in a ceremony yesterday at Ocean Park's Panda Cafe.

The park's food and beverage services trainee programme is a collaboration between the park, the Labour Department's Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, and the Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre.

Launched two years ago, it invites people aged 15 to 24 to undergo nine months of on-the-job training with the park's food services department.

At yesterday's graduation ceremony, 21 out of the original 25 trainees were present. Among them, nine will work full-time for the park, and the rest will work elsewhere or continue to study. The park spent HK$1.4 million on this term's trainees, and HK$1.3 million on the last batch.

Kit Wan Fung-ling, 20, joined the programme with three years' work experience and completion of Form Five studies. She refused the park's job offer and decided to take a bar-tending course to follow her ultimate ambition of being a barmaid.

'The programme has helped me find my professional bearings because nine months before I was clueless as to where I was going,' she said.

Throughout the nine-month programme, the trainees worked for the park's restaurant four days a week and went to school two days a week. They received HK$4,000 a month from the park and HK$2,000 from the Labour Department.