Recruits take fast track out of tram training

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 October, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 October, 1995, 12:00am

THE Employees' Retraining Board has been dealt another blow with one-third of recruits for Hongkong Tramways leaving their programme.

A total of 24 drivers were recruited in a special scheme run by the board and the tram company last month. But seven withdrew before a basic, one-week customer services course started last week.

The remaining 17 men, aged between 30 and 44, are now undergoing on-the-job training at Tramways' western depot training centre for eight weeks.

Trainer Tong Chun-shing uses a 40-year-old rule book to teach them how fast they can drive, how to handle emergency situations - and when to go to the toilet.

Some trainees expressed disappointment with the programme yesterday. Two criticised the joint plan - with the basic course immediately followed by on-the-job training - for lacking continuity. They also considered the work pressures too tough.

One said he was not sure whether the retraining would help him to move into a new industry. 'I have been jobless for a year. But I find this job too difficult. I don't think I will stay on the programme for too long,' he said.

Tramways administration manager Wegan Chiang Kei-wai is frustrated by the results. 'I know a lot of people especially the younger ones will sit in the class for a few weeks and take off later,' he said.

Chow Tung-shan, executive director of the board, said last night he would seek to improve retraining programmes.