To cope with increased demand from Form Five graduates, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is offering 1,000 additional places at its seven technical institutes. VTC executive director Professor Lee Ngok said the extra places would be distributed among 10 one-year full-time certificate courses. 'The courses have been designed to provide students with basic and specific hands-on vocational training to enable them to meet the demands of the career market,' Professor Lee said. The extra places will be available in computing and commercial studies as well as construction, electrical, electronic, mechanical and motor vehicle engineering and printing courses. The VTC has also expanded the training capacity of two existing courses - the Certificate in Secretarial Studies and Certificate in Office Computing. Also on offer are eight new certifi cate courses. These cover office studies, creative media studies, building measurement and practice, basic electrical and electronic engineering, electronic servicing, engineering (computer-aided design), basic building services engineering and automotive technology (heavy and public service vehicles). Professor Lee said graduates of these courses would be able to obtain credit exemption on other VTC courses. Applications close on September 19 and classes will start on October 12. VTC principal education officer (planning) Mo Yun-ming said the council did not anticipate problems arranging lectures for the new courses. It was already recruiting additional lecturers, Mr Mo said. The council expects about 3,000 applications for the extra places. Those wishing to apply for the courses must have completed Form Five with at least three HKCEE grade points. The tuition fee is $12,600. Students may apply for full or half tuition fee remission or grants. The VTC is also offering a nine- month full-time Certificate of Skills Training (Service Industry) course. It is run in collaboration with the Employees Retraining Board and is aimed at job-seekers who have completed Form Three. Those interested should return application forms on or before Monday. The forms can be obtained from the VTC's Morrison Hill, Haking Wong, Kwai Chung, Kwun Tong, Lee Wai Lee, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun institutes. For information on the institutes, check out the VTC's homepage at http://www.vtc.edu.hk .