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Boost to vocational training brings Hong Kong in line with global trend

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 May, 2018, 10:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 May, 2018, 10:59pm

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s 2017 policy address promised that the Hong Kong government would set up a task force to do an in-depth review of vocational and professional education and training.

Hong Kong Civic Association supports such training and the measures mentioned in the address to further promote it in the months ahead.

Making available more promotional resources for vocational and professional education and training to be widely accepted in the community is a timely and long-term approach. This will coincide with the Vocational Training Council’s launch in September of a new pilot vocational baccalaureate programme for students who have completed Form Three, with 50 places each in design and engineering.

Time to see vocational education in Hong Kong in a new light

We congratulate the council on its foresight in launching this new three-year vocational baccalaureate programme for senior secondary students, enabling them to join a university of applied sciences, equivalent to a higher education institution, or traditional university.

Regarding the role of self-financing post-secondary institutions and the way forward for sub-degree programmes, we welcome the government’s establishment of a task force, chaired by Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, to review the issue and make policy recommendations. 

The Swiss education system, which is oriented to the economic needs and development of the country, allows students to switch to vocational school after completing lower secondary education. Today, two-thirds of the Swiss student population choose vocational education when they reach the age of 16.

In Singapore, 60 per cent or more students pursue vocational education after finishing Secondary Four, at about age 16.

Hong Kong needs to boost vocational education to catch rivals

And in mainland China, the education authorities are showing great interest in the way British vocational schools work intensively with business and other sectors to provide valuable skills and experiences for students.

Our association suggests that the government think positively about expanding vocational and professional education for a new era of young Hongkongers who want better jobs and better living standards, enhanced by the Qualifications Framework that promotes lifetime education for all Hong Kong people, young and old. 

Hilton Cheong-Leen, president, and Frederick Lynn, chairman, Hong Kong Civic Association