In a bid to make Hong Kong more competitive in the international market, a senior official at the Vocational Training Council (VTC) has called on the Government to make vocational training compulsory in secondary schools. Dr Ng Tat-lun, deputy chairman of the VTC and chairman of the Standing Committee of the Hong Kong Youth Skills Competition, was speaking at the competition's prize-presentation ceremony. Dr Ng said only 18 per cent of Hong Kong students received first-degree tertiary education and a small number attended VTC courses. The majority went straight into the job market without any vocational skills. 'If students were given vocational training in secondary school, the standard of skills and services would go up and Hong Kong would be more competitive,' he said. Dr Ng said vocational skills in information technology and those needed to meet market demands should be taught in schools. The Hong Kong Youth Skills Competition was jointly organised by the VTC, Construction Industry Training Authority, Clothing Industry Training Authority and Industrial Centre of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The competition aimed to raise the social status of skilled workers and give recognition to young people who had demonstrated outstanding skills in their respective trades. Organisers also hoped to encourage more young people to take up a career in industry and commerce. Practical tests were conducted in 19 trade divisions. Gold, silver and bronze medals were presented along with theprizes. The gold medallists were Foo Chi-cheung (engineering drafting CAD), Lau Ka-wai (fitting), Yeung Ping-kit (gold jewellery), Happy Yu Fai (graphic design), Lai Tsz-chung (house wiring), Chan Sum (industrial electronics), Lam Chun-wai (information technology), Leung So-yee (ladies' dressmaking), Wong Lik- hang (light vehicle mechanic), Li Chak-kuen and Sin Ka-kui (mechatronics), Wong Chun-hung (milling and CNC), Chan Ka-kui (painting and decorating), Chan Chun-wai (PC and networking), Yeung Chi-fai (plumbing), Kong Siu-kei (refrigeration technique), Lee Yiu-fai (turning and CNC), Fung Chun-yau (wall and floor tiling), Liu Wai-lui (welding) and Ng Chung-yin (western cookery).