SCHOOLS are unable to fulfil the demands of English communicative skills as Hongkong rapidly shifts from a manufacturing to a service-oriented economy, education and business representatives claimed in a recent symposium organised by the Hongkong LanguageCampaign. Called ''The English Language Jigsaw: Do the Pieces Fit?'', the conference identified good teachers as being at the heart of the jigsaw. According to Dr Amy Tsui Bik-may, the University of Hongkong's Curriculum Studies lecturer, inadequate ''professional standards of English language teachers is the crucial factor'' that has undesirably affected students' English. She found the result of the Education Department's 1991 Teachers' Survey alarming: less than 20 per cent of Hongkong's 5,266 secondary English teachers are graduates of English majors, and less than 15 per cent of those have professional training. ''This means that most teachers do not know how to teach the language in a meaningful and interesting way,'' she said. To address the problem, Dr Tsui and her department staff is establishing the Centre for Professional Support of English Language (CEPSELT to help teachers. Dr John Clark, Director of the Education Department's Institute of Language in Education (ILE), felt that the teaching profession should not be blamed as ''they had done their best in the circumstance they found themselves in''. When questioned if there were language disadvantages in the Government's current medium of instruction policy which provides a bridging course for 30 per cent of primary students identified as capable of effectively learning in English to switch to English-medium secondary schools, Dr Clark said: ''The remaining 70 per cent will actually be 'advantaged' by mother-tongue teaching because the medium affects all other subjects.'' He also said that a Vocational English Programme to raise the English standard among those entering or already in the workplace would be launched towards the end of the year. The founder of the Community English Language Lab (CELL), Mr David Tang, emphasised learning English outside the classroom and the importance of learning usage, not just meaning. Mr Peter Sutch, chairman of John Swire and Sons (HK), raised the problem of students' lack of motivation. ''We must get the point across to them that their range of career, social and recreational opportunities depends on their English fluency,'' said Mr Sutch. Even the Chinese Government was opposed to a reduction in emphasis on English in Hongkong schools in favour of Chinese because it recognised Hongkong's success as an international business centre depended largely on the use of English, he said. Mrs Eleanor Ling, director of Jardine Pacific, demonstrated how Jardines helped its employees to acquire business English fluency by offering language training courses directly relevant to their work. Symposium chairman Mr Tom Buchanan concluded that the jigsaw pieces were fitting better, though not completely. ''The conference points to a need for more integrated co-operation between the education and business communities. We can't expect the Government to do everything.''