As the busiest international cargo airport, the volume of passengers going through Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) also ranks among the top of the world. The commissioning of the three-runway system in 2024 marks a great step forward in achieving the Airport City vision and creates new opportunities for young people aspiring to work in the aviation industry. In the light of this, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) and the Cathay Pacific Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last Friday (17 February) to jointly nurture a new generation of talents. This business-school partnership will facilitate students to develop their aviation career by providing diversified learning experiences and career planning activities and build a sustainable talent supply to the Hong Kong aviation service sector, thereby consolidating Hong Kong's position as an international aviation hub.
Through the collaboration, the professional cabin crew training programmes of Cathay Pacific and HK Express – the two passenger airlines of the Cathay Pacific Group – will be integrated into Higher Diploma in Aviation Inflight and Passenger Services of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), a member institution of the VTC, to enrich the programme curriculum and strengthen the related training. Another focus of the MoU is the provision of career planning activities for VTC students by the Cathay Pacific Group, including career talks to introduce the career prospects in the aviation industry at VTC campuses, exclusive mock-up interviews and recruitment day. VTC graduates with outstanding performance will also be nominated to full-time job interviews. These career planning activities aim to provide a stepping stone for students to capture opportunities in advance to join the aviation industry.
The VTC is committed to providing comprehensive on-the-job training to nurture students’ professional skills through collaboration with industries. Under the collaboration, the Cathay Pacific Group will offer various training opportunities to VTC students. With the concept of Project-based Learning, the Group plans to collaborate with the Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI) and the International Culinary Institute (ICI) of VTC, and offer projects for their students in inflight menu planning and design where they can unleash their creativity and expertise. As corporate social responsibility projects, the Group also plans to collaborate with Shine Skills Centre in the joint production of food products. To integrate learning and practice, the arrangement of internship ranging from 4 to 8 weeks under the Workplace Learning and Assessment (WLA) framework of VTC will be explored. The existing collaboration on the VTC Earn & Learn Scheme under the MoU signed in 2022 will be further enhanced.
The MoU Signing Ceremony was held at the Tsing Yi campus of IVE, a member institution of the VTC. Witnessed by LIU Chun-san, Under Secretary for Transport and Logistics; Donald TONG, VTC Executive Director and Ronald LAM, Chief Executive Officer of the Cathay Pacific Group, the MoU was signed by Alaina SHUM, VTC Deputy Executive Director, and Patricia HWANG, Director People of Cathay Pacific.
LIU Chun-san, Under Secretary for Transport and Logistics remarked that the pandemic has put the aviation industry on a bumpy flight over the past few years. But like planes flying out of an air turbulence, Hong Kong International Airport has been filling up again, and airlines have been flying to new destinations daily as the pandemic receded. Numerous exciting developments in our aviation scene have also been unfolding, including the Three-Runway System which would significantly increase our airport’s handling capacity. The cooperation between the Cathay Pacific Group and VTC was a very timely one to provide new talents to power our aviation industry through recovery and beyond. Cathay Pacific is a world-class airline well-known for its high quality service. VTC, on the other hand, has been a beacon of success in training our stewards of the sky by offering a broad range of courses covering aircraft engineering, aviation and logistics, aviation services and inflight and passenger services. Liu pointed out that the join-hand of the Cathay Pacific Group and VTC would further enhance the VTC’s training facilities and career support for students by the Group. Some elements of the Group’s cabin crew training would also be integrated into the VTC’s curriculum, thereby equipping students with practical industry knowledge that would prepare them even better for their future career.
Donald TONG, VTC Executive Director remarked that MoU signing this time set a new milestone of the collaboration between the VTC and the Cathay Pacific Group in jointly grooming a new generation of aviation talents. Through the integration of the cabin crew training programme of Cathay Pacific and HK Express into VTC’s Higher Diploma programme, students could be given expanded learning opportunities to hone their professional knowledge and skills. The provision of student internships and project-based learning opportunities including inflight menu planning and design, as well as the CSR projects by the Cathay Pacific Group would also benefit students from other VTC’s member institutions, namely the Chinese Culinary Institute and the International Culinary Institute, as well as trainees of Shine Skills Centre and the VTC Social Enterprises.
Cathay Pacific Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald LAM said: “As Hong Kong’s home airline, we are committed to continuing to invest in young local talent and the long-term development of the Hong Kong aviation hub. The collaboration with VTC provides a sound foundation for the talent supply chain in the aviation industry. We look forward to welcoming students with a passion for joining the aviation industry and becoming part of the Cathay Pacific Group upon graduation.”
“During my Higher Diploma studies, I benefited a lot from the training at the mock-up cabin at the Aviation Centre at IVE (Tsing Yi),” said Ashley FU, an IVE graduate of Higher Diploma in Aviation Inflight and Passenger Services and an incumbent cabin crew of Cathay Pacific. “In addition, the practical experience of working as a passenger service agent at the HKIA during my internship gave me a better understanding of the actual work in the industry.”
To give students a more comprehensive understanding of the actual working environment and situations, VTC and the Cathay Pacific Group will also further explore integration of Virtual Reality (VR) technology for service training and safety training for cabin crew into the programme. In response to the development of the aviation industry, VTC will continue to collect views and strengthen the business-school partnership via various channels, including the VTC Transportation and Logistics Industry Training Committee comprising industry leaders, for cultivating new talents through providing courses that meet the needs of the aviation industry.
Established in 1982, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is the largest vocational and professional education and training provider in Hong Kong. The mission of VTC is to provide a valued choice to school leavers and working people to acquire the values, knowledge and skills for lifelong learning and enhanced employability, and also to provide support to industries for their manpower development. VTC has 13 member institutions, namely the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), the Institute of Professional Education And Knowledge (PEAK), the School for Higher and Professional Education (SHAPE), the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI), the Hotel and Tourism Institute (HTI), the Chinese Culinary Institute (CCI), the International Culinary Institute (ICI), the Maritime Services Training Institute (MSTI), Youth College, Pro-Act by VTC, the Integrated Vocational Development Centre (IVDC) and the Shine Skills Centre.
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