More disabled people in Hong Kong are set to benefit directly from a new Vocational Training Council centre aimed at brightening their career prospects. VTC Pokfulam Skills Centre - which opened last week - is the third such centre, following venues already up and running at Kwun Tong and Tuen Mun. The centre's ultimate goals are to provide vocational training for the disabled and increase their self-image and confidence. With the capacity for 300 trainees, the eight-storey centre can accommodate half of this number in dormitories which are located on the top four floors. The centre's office facility is on the fourth floor and 19 workshops are located on the lower floors. The new VTC offers 14 full- time courses, including office assistant and office reception practice; machine sewing; carpentry; general service work; painting; decorating; bench fitting and machining. Training course duration ranges from two to three years. The centre's manager, Inney Chu Ho Ka-yin, said most disabled people lacked confidence and thought they were discriminated against or looked down upon. 'The first step is to build up their confidence and provide them with basic vocational training,' she said. 'The next step is to teach them how to communicate with people. The courses are organised in a modular structure to allow the trainees to proceed at their own pace.' The centre also provides boarding facilities to help equip the disabled with social and independent living skills. 'Trainees who live in dormitories need to cook and do housework under supervision,' Mrs Chu said. Kwok Yi-lai, an inspector at the centre, said the vocational training was beneficial to society as a whole in the long term. 'We need to accept the disabled and give them a chance to try. They can work as well as any one of us, or even better than us,' he said.