A DEDICATED team at Crown Motors was responsible for initiating the Toyota Technical Educational Programme (T-TEP) in Hong Kong. Executives involved in its execution included the general manager, the national services manager, and marketing and promotions executives. Eric W. T. Chia, general manager of the after-sales division, spearheaded the team. He was keen to incorporate T-TEP in the Caritas Chan Chun Ha Pre-vocational School curriculum. 'Advanced technology is necessary for enhancing skills in the automotive industry. With development of manpower, we can achieve this,' he said. 'Entering this joint venture with the Toyota Motor Corporation also provides a service to society.' Crown Motors' main objective in implementing the programme is to assist technical colleges keep abreast of advances in technology. Mr Chia said that some schools might not be able to afford the latest equipment and that his company was happy to make the donation in order to assist them. 'Only highly qualified technicians will be able to service cars of the future, so a higher level of knowledge and standard of maintenance must be provided,' Mr Chia said. Toyota is committed to helping technicians gain the practical and theoretical knowledge to deal with the future development of cars. Toyota's technicians strive to achieve the goal of 'fixing it right the first time'. Mr Chia hopes that young people will feel proud to be a Toyota technician and continue with the company to improve working conditions. Those who have finished the T-TEP and Crown Motors apprentice programmes do not have to be mechanics. 'We also have a management training scheme wherein, within five years, individuals can become service engineer managers, managing engineers or hold other key posts in the organisation,' Mr Chia said. Service managers earn up to $30,000 per month, depending on qualifications and responsibilities. National services manager Alex Lee is as devoted as Mr Chia. He was responsible for determining which school would be the beneficiary of Crown Motors' generosity. To determine the most suitable school, Mr Lee contacted the Education Department. 'Finding a suitable school was not easy. We eventually decided on the Caritas Chan Chun Ha Pre-vocational School after a search which began in 1991.' Mr Lee chose the Caritas School because it was one of four pre-vocational schools that had mechanical workshops. In fact, the school offered two workshops, including the largest in Hong Kong. 'The Caritas school had equipment that dated from the 1970s and 1980s. We supply the latest equipment and bridge the gap,' he said. Mr Lee said that when he initially contacted the Caritas School, it was wary of Toyota's intentions. 'They were careful because they were not clear of our objectives,' he said. 'But when we clarified things, they were very happy.' Crown Motors designated a corner within the workshop to display the equipment and provide an appropriate venue for learning about advances in the automotive industry. Specialists within Crown Motors and the Toyota Motor Corporation from Japan were brought in to provide training and teach mechanics about the Toyota system. Crown Motors is eager to expand the T-TEP programme to include other pre-vocational schools and vocational schools. Mr Lee said that, after the first year of the programme, Crown Motors would test students' knowledge. They would be quizzed on repairs and general knowledge about engines, including their theoretical as well as practical knowledge.