Vocational Training Council (VTC), in collaboration with leading global financial services firm J.P. Morgan, is establishing a three-year pilot initiative called Future-ready Talent Incubation Program (“the Program”) that will help around 600 higher diploma students from VTC pursue STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers to help address Hong Kong’s demand for talent as the territory looks to transform itself into a 21st century smart city.
J.P. Morgan will provide HK$11.7 million (US$1.5 million) to support the Program, which comprises integrated work-based learning experience, STEM skills and personal competencies as well as career planning. The Program will benefit around 600 VTC students studying information technology and business administration, as well as those attempting to earn their interdisciplinary higher diplomas.
The Program aims to address Hong Kong’s talent shortage in six areas, including data analytics and artificial intelligence, information technology security, cloud computing, smart/intelligence application development, immersive and digital media technologies, and financial technology. It also complements J.P. Morgan’s existing partnership with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, which prepares students of sub-degree programs for jobs in technology start-ups at the Science Park.
The Program is unique in that it provides on-the-job training including industry attachments of at least 280 hours, 20 hours of career coaching and training, as well as real-life problem-based projects. With its holistic, demand-driven approach, the Program reflects J.P. Morgan’s philanthropic strategy to provide pathways to quality jobs and careers for Hong Kong’s youth.
The Launch Ceremony of the Future-ready Talent Incubation Program was held today (25 Feb) at the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI), a VTC member institution, and followed by a panel discussion with industry experts on the theme “Nurturing Talent for Smart City”.
Officiating at the launch ceremony of the Program, The Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew CHEUNG Kin-chung, expressed sincere gratitude to J.P. Morgan for their generous support and the VTC for their sterling efforts in nurturing a talent pool for the smart city development in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government announced the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong in December 2017, setting out more than 70 initiatives to transform Hong Kong into a smart city. Among these initiatives are the three smart city infrastructure projects: the eID, the pilot Multi-functional Smart Lampposts Scheme, and the Next Generation Government Cloud and Big Data Analytics Platform. He added that over HK$900 million had been allocated to propel these projects forward. Nevertheless, government’s efforts alone will not be enough, he called upon all sectors of the community like J.P. Morgan and the VTC to join hands to shape the future generations to become smart city dwellers.
Filippo GORI, Deputy CEO for Asia Pacific at J.P. Morgan, reiterated that, “J.P. Morgan is committed to ensuring that the communities where we live and work can create new pathways to economic opportunity, and the firm sees the expansion of high-quality career-focused education and training as a fundamental tool in paving the road to opportunity for students in the new century. We are pleased to collaborate with VTC to help nurture Hong Kong’s young technology talent with the aim of helping elevate the city’s profile as an innovation hub in the region.”
J.P. Morgan employees will also volunteer their time and expertise to mentor VTC students throughout their program journeys by providing career advice and industry insights to help students navigate opportunities in innovation-driven sectors.
VTC Chairman Dr Roy CHUNG remarked, “Our objective is to develop the next generation of talent and to enhance students’ innovative and technological competencies, enabling them to contribute effectively in the development of Smart City in Hong Kong.” Dr Chung also said VTC endeavors to develop new facilities on VTC campuses to further its capabilities in nurturing innovative talent. He mentioned that VTC Cybersecurity Centre and Innovation and Technology Co-creation Centre will be open later this year to provide students with simulated workplace training and facilitate collaboration with industry and stakeholders.
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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