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VTC welcomes new initiatives in Policy Address to support VPET

Latest updated 25 Oct 2023

The Vocational Training Council (VTC) warmly welcomes the initiatives in supporting the Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) promulgated in the Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address which would provide more skilled manpower to meet the needs arising from the economic restructuring and technological advancement of Hong Kong. By putting in place the diverse training modes and programmes, these new measures can nurture the high-caliber vocational and professional talents to expand the talent pool for Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and even our country, thereby enhancing the comparative advantages of VPET and driving the economic growth at both the national and Hong Kong levels.

Hong Kong Institute of Information Technology (HKIIT)

The VTC is grateful to the support from Hong Kong Government to establish a specialised institute - the Hong Kong Institute of Information Technology (HKIIT) which would be dedicated for grooming technology talents in response to the Government’s policies on innovation and technology (I&T) and the increasing manpower demand resulting from digital transformation of various industries. As the 14th VTC’s member institution, the newly established HKIIT will offer a wide range of information technology and relevant innovation and technology programmes of different delivery modes, leading to multiple qualifications. These will include the pre-employment and in-service training, as well as the upskilling and reskilling programmes designed to equip secondary school graduates, industry practitioners and corporate professionals with the in-demand digital skills. The HKIIT is expected to welcome its first cohort of students in the 2024/25 academic year.

Vocational Professionals Admission Scheme (VPAS)

The VTC fully supports the pilot launch of the Vocational Professionals Admission Scheme (VPAS) by the Government. The VPAS will run as pilot for two years. Under the scheme, non-local students (including those from the Mainland, other countries and regions) enrolled in designated full-time VTC Higher Diploma programmes in Hong Kong for the 2024/25 & 2025/26 academic years will upon graduation be eligible to apply for employment in Hong Kong. These graduates can enter different professional industries related to their study programmes. The new scheme will expand the channels for attracting vocational and technical talents to stay and work in Hong Kong and can help bridge the manpower gap for technicians and professional talents in crucial industries in Hong Kong. It can also help promote connectivity and interaction of talents among Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and other countries/ regions. As the largest provider of VPET in Hong Kong, the VTC will leverage its training expertise and industry network to execute the scheme, assist non-local students in their employment endeavours and inject vitality into Hong Kong labour market.

Expanding Vocational Talent Pool

The VTC will fully support the Government’s collaboration with relevant Mainland authorities on the arrangements for mutual recognition of sub-degree level qualifications, including higher diploma. This will provide students across the border with more diversified options for further education and career development, ultimately achieving greater synergy in the post-secondary and vocational education in the Greater Bay Area. We will actively participate in relevant preparation work.

Meanwhile, the VTC expresses its gratitude to the Government for providing an additional monthly training allowance to each registered apprentice under the Apprenticeship Training Scheme for a period of three years starting from 2024/25. The Government will also subsidise graduated apprentices in undertaking upskilling courses of relevant trades. These measures will encourage more young people to enter relevant industries and strengthen the supply of local vocational talents.

Universities of Applied Sciences

The VTC highly welcomes the Government’s initiative to facilitate the establishment of universities of applied sciences (UASs), and to offer financial assistance and other ancillary support. The Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), a VTC’s member institution, has been offering applied science-oriented degree programmes in various academic areas, raising the status of VPET to attain qualifications at the university degree level all along. Founded in 2012, THEi has been working closely with the industry to nurture talents with applied skills; and THEi’s graduates are highly welcome by employers. THEi is working ahead to develop and plan towards the direction of UASs in accordance with the requirements set out by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications. We will also actively take part in Education Bureau initiatives to collaborate with other tertiary institutions and jointly promote the social status of VPET.

Building an International Hub for Post-secondary Education

The VTC also welcomes and will fully support the Government in pursuing other VPET and education related initiatives. These include doubling the admission quota of non-local student of publicly-funded post-secondary institutions to 40% starting from the 2024/25 academic year; and the development of the Northern Metropolis University Town. The VTC will continue to work in line with the Government policies to develop Hong Kong into an international hub for post-secondary education.

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